Google Beware: Lenovo Muscles Into Top 5 in Mobile Market – Breaking Analysis

Independent analyst firm Canalys has released its report on the final mobile phone shipment estimates from 4Q of 2012. Their report covers data that they track from over fifty countries. SiliconANGLE Contributing Editor John Casaretto gave an overview of their findings, highlighting the triple digit growth of four Chinese vendors. However, one of the most interesting things that Casaretto noted could be a warning flag to Google in that Chinese device maker Lenovo bumped Sony out of the top five list. Not only that, but China made up 98% of Lenovo’s shipments, which should also cause Google some concern.

The worldwide smartphone market grew 37% with Android smartphones accounting for 34% of all the phone shipments. In addition to Lenovo, the other four spots went to Samsung, Apple, Huawei, and ZTE. Casaretto pointed out the Android domination in that list. He also shared his thoughts on what other vendors need to do to crack the top five list in 2013.

“One of the take-aways that they’re seeing here is that consumers are looking for a whole experience,” he said. “The vendors, the hardware, the operating system, all those things really have to be a very easy switch . . . for them to adopt the phones.”

In other mobile news, Mapathon 2013 kicks off next week. The contest, sponsored by Google, is running a competition in India from February 12-March 25. Casaretto explained this an effort by Google to improve their maps service by asking the consumers to help in providing detailed input. They will use Google Map Maker to submit their entries, and in return for their efforts, the top 1000 contributors will receive prizes such as slates, phones, vouchers and other merchandise.

Casaretto indicated that this utilization of crowd-sourcing could be a new trend going forward. He said, “It shows a sense of community, ownership that they built it themselves and it’s personalized to them, and that’s one of the benefits of this approach.”  He sees this as a move to put even more distance between Google and Apple in the maps space.  See the entire segment with Kristin Feledy and John Casaretto on the Morning NewsDesk Show.

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