IDC First Quarter Smartphone Shipments: All About Apple and Samsung

IDC via BusinessWire:

Apple reached a new record shipment volume in a single quarter, and inched closer to market leader Nokia with fewer than six million units separating the two companies. The company posted market-beating year-over-year growth and recorded triple-digit growth in two key markets: the United States, with the release of its CDMA-enabled iPhone, and Greater China. Additionally, the company enlisted South Korean Telecom and Saudi Telecom as carrier providers of the iPhone.

Apple at #2 captured 18.7% market share in smartphone unit shipments for the first quarter 2011. iPhone shipments grew 114% Y/Y.

Samsung posted the largest year-over-year gain of any other vendor on the list. With a multiple operating system strategy in place, Samsung has been able to grow its smartphone portfolio to meet the needs of a diverse market. Accounting for the majority of its smartphones and driving shipment volumes higher was the continued success of its Android-based smartphones, including the high-end Galaxy S devices and mass-market Galaxy Ace and Galaxy mini devices.

Samsung’s market share was 10.8% at #4 behind RIM but the company’s smartphone shipment growth was an impressive 350% Y/Y. If growth continues like this for Samsung by this time 2012 we’ll be looking at Samsung leapfrogging everyone else and dethroning Nokia.

We all know that unit shipment market share isn’t the most important figure, that goes to profits and Apple is way ahead of everyone else in that department according to Canaccord via Business Insider:

According to an analysis by Canaccord Genuity’s T. Michael Walkley, Apple captured “a remarkable 50% value share of estimated Q1/11 handset industry operating profits among the top 8 OEMs with only 4.9% global handset unit market share.”