Apple nearly tied with Samsung in worldwide mobile device shipments at end of 2012

Apple has nearly closed the distance between itself and Samsung in worldwide sales of smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Apple jumped from holding 15.7 percent of worldwide market share in Q3 2012 to having 20.3 in Q4, just behind Samsung’s 21.2 percent. IDC believes that Apple’s jump is due to the debut of the iPhone 5 and the iPad mini.

In terms of market share, Apple significantly closed the gap with market leader Samsung in the quarter, as the combination of Apple's iPhone 5 and iPad Mini brought Apple up to 20.3% unit shipment share versus 21.2% for Samsung. On a revenue basis for the fourth quarter, Apple continued to dominate with 30.7% share versus 20.4% share for Samsung.

Worldwide shipments of devices like smartphones and tablets passed 1 billion units last year. Additionally, tablet shipments are expected to overtake desktop shipments this year, and laptop shipments next year. The iPad remains extremely popular, and Apple should be able to hold on to its newfound market share, but they will have a fight on their hands as competition with Samsung continues to escalate.

Source: IDC