Smartphone Market Dominated By Samsung And Apple Shipments
October 29, 2013

Smartphone Market Dominated By Samsung And Apple Shipments

Enid Burns for - Your Universe Online

Smartphone shipments crossed the 250 million mark in the third quarter of 2013. In all, manufacturers shipped 251.4 million units during the period, according to the most recent Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service report from Strategy Analytics. Samsung, Apple and Huawei grabbed the top three spots, respectively, in market share for the quarter.

The third quarter figures account for 45 percent growth over the same period a year ago, with 2012 Q3 shipments at 172.8 million. "This was the first time ever that smartphone shipments exceeded a quarter-billion units in a single quarter," the report said.

While it may seem like everyone has adopted smartphones, there are still holdouts in the worldwide market. Smartphones are gaining the lead, however, with six in 10 of all mobile phones shipped worldwide being smartphones. Strategy Analytics attributes demand for LTE models in developed regions such as the US and 3G models in emerging markets such as China with the growing volume in smartphone shipments.

Samsung continued to grow its lead in the market, which it has maintained for several months, after ousting Apple for the top spot in June. The company's mobile division grew 55 percent annually last quarter and shipped 88.4 million smartphones worldwide, a record for Samsung. The volume of shipments also earned Samsung a 35 percent marketshare for Q3.

Samsung's newest model was not the driver for growth that the company might have expected. "While shipments of the flagship Galaxy S4 model softened, solid demand for the new Note 3 phablet and for mass-market devices like the Galaxy Y helped to lift Samsung's volumes," the report stated.

Samsung also shipped twice the number of units Apple shipped during the period. Still, Apple shipped 33.8 million iPhones worldwide, and that numbers continues to grow. In the same period last year Apple shipped 26.9 million iPhones. The increased phone shipments accounted for 26 percent annual growth. Strategy Analytics states the growth rate is around half of the overall smartphone industry average of 45 percent.

"Apple's global smartphone market share has dipped noticeably from 16 percent to 13 percent during the past year. Nonetheless, we expect Apple to rebound sharply and regain share in the upcoming fourth quarter of 2013 due to high demand for its new iPhone 5s model," the report said.

Huawei grabbed the third slot in the smartphone shipments race with shipments of 12.7 million units during the third quarter, a growth rate of 67 percent annually. Growth came largely from emerging markets and its home base of China. While it sits in the third spot, Huawei only accounts for 4 percent of the market share. However, the company has done well with its P6 and G610 models in emerging markets, enough so to give it the third place running in the global smartphone shipments market.

"Huawei remains very strong at home in China, but its position is less robust in other major markets like the US and Europe. Huawei will need to expand aggressively in the American and European markets if it wants to seriously challenge the big two of Samsung and Apple next year," it said in the report.

While LG and Lenovo are behind the top three smartphone manufacturers, both exhibited qualities of note in the smartphone market last quarter. LG shipped 12 million smartphones worldwide, accounting for a 5 percent market share. The notable event Strategy Analytics notes is that LG grew 71 percent annually, making it the fastest-growing vendor among the top five brands. "LG has been expanding rapidly in Europe, but China and India remain weak spots," the report said.

Lenovo shipped 10.8 million smartphones worldwide in quarter 3 of 2013, which accounts for 4 percent market share, and the fifth position in the ranking charts. "Lenovo is popular among mass-market consumers in China and it is expanding internationally," the report said.

The Strategy Analytics report notes two of the world's top five smartphone vendors come from China: Lenovo and Huawei. Both manufacturers serve emerging markets, which might demand more sophisticated phones which have grown popular in mature markets such as the US and Europe once emerging markets such as China and India mature.