Led by Android, global smartphone shipments to reach 614 million units in 2012

Smartphones will continue to proliferate around the world in 2012 according to new projections released by Taiwan’s Marketing Intelligence & Consulting Institute. While 2011 was supposed to be the year of the tablet, most slates fizzled while just a few models found success in the emerging market segment. Meanwhile, smartphone sales continued to balloon last year. MIC estimates that global smartphone shipments reached about 452 million units in 2011, with Android having captured 46% of the smartphone market. The firm believes shipments will grow 35.8% to 614 million units in 2012, and Android’s market share will grow to 50% compared to Apple’s 19%. MIC also believes Microsoft’s smartphone share will climb to 13% this year. Read on for more.

MIC estimates that global smartphone penetration currently sits at 14%, well above the 10% estimated by TomiAhonen Consulting. Fueled by sub-$300 smartphones and emerging markets, the firm sees global penetration reaching 17% this year and 40% by the end of 2016.

On the manufacturer level, MIC sees Samsung as the top vendor in 2012 with a market share that will reach 21.7%. Apple’s share will grow to 18.7% this year and despite a slow fourth quarter, HTC will rebound to see its share rise to 10.9%.

RIM’s share of the global market will continue to drop to 8.6% according to the market research firm, and while it sees Microsoft’s mobile platform gaining in 2012, Nokia’s global market share will fall to 15.6%.

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