“The success of Apple and Samsung is based on the strength of their brands as much as their actual products,” said Anshul Gupta, a principal research analyst at Gartner. “Their direct competitors, including those with comparable products, struggle to achieve the same brand appreciation among consumers, who, in a tough economic environment, go for cheaper products over brand.”
Samsung has risen to the top position in regards to both smartphone and overall mobile phone sales. Samsung sold 384.6 million mobile phones in 2012, with 53.5 percent of those being smartphones.
“With Samsung commanding over 42.5 percent of the Android market globally, and the next vendor at just 6 percent share, the Android brand is being overshadowed by Samsung brand with the Galaxy name nearly a synonym for Android phones in consumers’ mind share,” Gupta said.
Samsung’s success is built on the overall success of Android. Over 140,000,000 Android phones were sold in the fourth quarter of 2012, leaving Android with 69.7 percent of the smartphone market. This is nearly double the number of Android devices shipped in the same time last year and a large jump from Android’s then-51.3 percent share of the market. iOS is currently the second most popular mobile operating system at 20.9 percent. It has dropped only slightly from 23.6 percent last year. This means that Android went from doubling to tripling iOS sales in under a year.
Of the over 140 million Android devices shipped in the fourth quarter of 2012, roughly 64.5 million were Samsung devices. The popularity of Samsung’s brand has given it an advantage that competitors currently cannot match. However, the competition is expected to improve throughout 2013. Google’s Nexus line has drawn fans with each passing year. Sony and Nokia are improving their product line, and Huawei announced two phones at this year’s Computer Electronics Show aimed at growing the company’s brand perception as a premium product. Huawei wants to put on a strong showing in international markets including the United States where Samsung overshadows the competition.