Apple Nabs 22% of Global Market with iPhone 5; Is It Gaining Ground on Competitors?

There is conflicting evidence on whether Apple is gaining ground on its top competitor Samsung in the global market.

According to the research firm Canalys, Apple’s release of the popular iPhone 5 has helped the tech giant capture a 22 percent increase over smartphone shipments worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2012, a seven percent uptick from 2011. The news comes as a good sign over the company’s growth, which shipped out more than 4.8 million combined units in the last quarter alone.

In the grand scheme of things, Apple has an advantage over most of its competitors, but still maintains a large gap between itself and Samsung.

“BlackBerry, Microsoft and Nokia, as well as other Android vendors, have strategies and devices in place to attack, but the task is daunting to say the least,” said Canalys Principal Analyst Pete Cunningham. “When we look at the whole of 2012, Nokia remained the number three smart phone vendor, shipping 35 million units, but Apple is second place shipped 101 million more handsets. First-placed Samsung shipped 74 million more than Apple — the gaps are colossal.”

So how does Apple dig into Samsung’s profit margin?

It could be a bit more difficult than we think. Currently, the South Korean-based phone company has the advantage when it comes to global appeal. According to the research done by King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, the iPhone family doesn’t hit the mark when it comes to making its gadgets “more user friendly” to those non-english speaking users. And as it just so happens, it found that Samsung grabbed a larger following in Austria, Asia, Africa, North America, South America and Europe, only to be out-earned by Apple in the United States.

The research firm found out two essential things the Samsung devices are capable of: becoming more readily available and more inexpensive to emerging markets.

So while Apple champions its fourth quarter uptick in global revenue, it may want to keep its eye on the bigger issue: finding a way to bring low-cost iPhones into the hands of the less fortunate.

[per TechCrunch]

Image Credit: CNET