In Q3 Samsung became the top seller of handsets in every region of the world by surpassing Nokia even in its last remaining stronghold in Africa and the Middle East, according to US market researcher Strategic Analysis.
Samsung had already claimed the title of top mobile phone maker earlier this year in terms of absolute numbers sold globally. In Q3 it expanded its dominance by selling 120.1 million units for a 28.6% global market share.
But Nokia had retained the lead in Africa and the Middle East on the strength of its extensive array of lower-priced non-smartphone models. But as more people in that region are upgrading to smartphones Samsung was able to sell 15.8 million phones, topping Nokia’s 14.7 million. That raised its regional market share from 24.4% to 36.4%.
Samsung has plenty of room for growth in Africa where smartphones remain a novelty. Last year only 4% of mobile phones in use in sub-Saharan Africa were smartphones compared with 17% globally, according to industry body GSMA. This year 20 million of the 100 million mobile phones sold in Africa are smartphones, with Samsung claiming a bit over half of them, according to Thabiet Allie, head of content and services for Samsung Electronics Africa. He expects Samsung to double its sales on the continent next year.
Samsung’s dominance continues to widen in most other regions of the world as well. In Western Europe Samsung widened its gap with Nokia to 27.7 percentage points in Q3. In Latin America and Eastern Europe the gap widened, respectively, to 13.4 percentage points and 14.4 percentage points.
Samsung also held onto its top spot in North America with a 9 percentage point lead over Apple even after its market share slipped 3.4% due to the launch of Apple’s iPhone 5.