Samsung has snagged the top smartphone vendor spot from Apple, a throne Apple had just claimed in Q4 2011. Apple's Q1 2012 smartphone market share sat at 24.2%, while Samsung enjoyed a slight lead with 29.1% of all smartphone sales worldwide. The quarter also marked Samsung's leap over Nokia as the top mobile phone vendor globally, which is a huge competitive and symbolic victory. The overall market has shipped 144.9 million smartphones in the quarter, which is a 42.5% increase over last year. IDC's senior research analyst, Ramon Llamas, said of the battle between Apple and Samsung:
The race between Apple and Samsung remained tight during the quarter, even as both companies posted growth in key areas. Apple launched its popular iPhone 4S in additional key markets, most notably in China, and Samsung experienced continued success from its Galaxy Note smartphone/tablet and other Galaxy smartphones. With other companies in the midst of major strategic transitions, the contest between Apple and Samsung will bear close observation as hotly-anticipated new models are launched.
Apple and Samsung have been butting heads in the courtrooms, despite plans to talk about settling on their patent dispute; some might even say the neck-and-neck race between the two giants is what's propelling their legal squabbles forward. As the leading manufacturer, Samsung also embodies the Android threat that Steve Jobs pledged to go to thermonuclear war against. There's more than just patents and market share at stake here - there are big egos and a lot of pride on both sides of the fence. It will be interesting to see who wins which battles, but this is shaping up to be a feud that won't be concluding any time soon.
Have you swapped out an iPhone for a Samsung device? Or, conversely, made the leap from a Samsung Android smartphone to iOS? How are you finding the switch?