Last year, for the first time ever, Samsung sold more smartphones than any of its competitors. It shipped 95 million units in the 12-month period. Its shipments grew an extremely robust 278% year-over-year.
“Samsung advanced in 2011 because of its strategy of offering a complete line of smartphone products, spanning a variety of price points, features and operating systems,” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst, wireless communications at IHS, the market research firm that came up with these figures.
Apple made headlines last month by taking the top spot in the fourth quarter of last year, but that wasn’t enough to push it past its S. Korean competitor for the entire year — the iPhone maker shipped 93 million units in 2011. It enjoyed a healthy growth of 96%.
Nokia was once the dominant player in the global smartphone market, but it has been on a slide in recent quarters. The Finnish company’s smartphone shipments totaled 77 million last year, a drop of 23%.
In fourth place was Sony Ericsson, which shipped 20 million devices in 2011, up 55%. That put it narrowly ahead of Motorola, which wrapped up last year’s top-five list with 19 million units shipped, an increase of 35%. “The relatively small growth of Sony Ericsson and Motorola may indicate that the Android smartphone market is becoming too crowded as the various licensees compete for limited consumer mindshare and shelf space,” said Lam.