Samsung Out Ships Top Four Smartphone Manufacturers Combined
April 26, 2013

Samsung Outships Top Four Smartphone Manufacturers Combined

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

Samsung has shown once again selling numerous versions of smartphones can result in some high numbers. In the first of what will almost certainly be a long line of reports to the same effect, IDC has announced the smartphone race remains a two-competitor affair between Samsung and Apple. According to the International Data Corporation´s (IDC) numbers, Samsung shipped over 70 million units in the first quarter of 2013, well ahead of second place Apple´s 37.4 million. As it´s been seen in many other reports from quarter´s past, there´s a much closer competition for third place in the smartphone races. Overall, the new IDC report finds smartphones continue to gain in popularity. These pocketable computers finally overtook feature phones in terms of units shipped in the first quarter for the first time since IDC has been keeping tabs on these numbers.

All told, mobile phone vendors across the world shipped a collective 418.6 million units in the first quarter. This number is up from the first quarter of 2012 when phone makers shipped 402.4 phones, according to the IDC´s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

Smartphones accounted for more than half of these phones (216.2 million) shipped in the first quarter of 2013. This represents an enormous ground of 41.6 percent of the first quarter of 2012, but is down a bit from last year´s holiday quarter.

According to IDC´s senior research analyst Kevin Restivo, these numbers are solid proof consumers are expecting more from their devices.

“Phone users want computers in their pockets. The days where phones are used primarily to make phone calls and send text messages are quickly fading away,” said Restivo in a press statement.

“As a result, the balance of smartphone power has shifted to phone makers that are most dependent on smartphones.”

Research Manager Ramon Llama mentions these latest numbers also point to the emergence of dominant Chinese manufacturers such as Huawei and ZTE. Last quarter, these two companies displaced longtime leaders and are engaged in the aforementioned battle for third place.

“A year ago, it was common to see previous market leaders Nokia, BlackBerry (then Research In Motion), and HTC among the top five. While those companies have been in various stages of transformation since, Chinese vendors, including Huawei and ZTE, as well as Coolpad and Lenovo, have made significant strides to capture new users with their respective Android smartphones,” said Llamas.

The IDC report calls Samsung the “undisputed leader in the worldwide smartphone market,” noting the Korean phone maker shipped more units (70.7 million) than the top four phone makers combined. The data company seems to suggest the new Galaxy S4 will help Samsung carry on this tradition through this year.

Samsung´s closest competitor, Apple, saw a first quarter high this year as shipments reached 37.4 million. This represents a growth of 6.6 percent year-over-year. IDC attributes this growth to the iPhone 5; the same phone other analysts and news sources have claimed is selling poorly. This quarter also marks the fifth in a row with Apple in second place.

LG made it to third place with only 10.3 million phones sold. Huawei and ZTE are nipping at their heels with 9.9 million and 9.1 million units shipped, respectively.