The latest numbers from Strategy Analytics suggest that while the iPhone remains strong, total US smartphone shipments are behind where they were a year ago. In its estimate for the second quarter of 2012, Strategy reported 23.8 million total smartphones shipped in the US, down 1.4 million from Q2 of 2011. These numbers reflect a decrease in shipments for every platform except iOS, which apparently shipped 2 million more phones in Q2 of 2012 than 2011. While a precipitous drop for RIM was expected — it shipped barely over half the number of smartphones it did in Q2 of 2011 — 1.9 million fewer Android phones were reportedly shipped over this time period as well, and Android's market share dropped from 60.6 percent in the US to 56.3 percent.
While the US market plateaus, however, global smartphone demand appears to still be growing. IDC reported a few days ago that a total of 153.9 million smartphones were shipped worldwide in Q2 2012, compared to 108.3 million at the same time in 2011. Since we're looking at two separate agencies, there are likely some discrepancies between the data sets, but the differences in growth are still significant, even if they just mean that the US market is more saturated than the global one. While shipments may be slowing, however, the total subscriber base grew over the same period, reaching 100 million smartphone subscribers by early 2013. If these numbers are all correct, that means we could be seeing fewer people upgrading their existing smartphones of late.