SA: Samsung smartphone lead expands as Apple falters

29 October, 2013

Strategy Analytics is reporting on the smartphone market and had to use the word "record" a lot. Smartphone shipments worldwide for the third quarter of this year grew 45% to reach a record 251 million units, the first time ever smartphone shipments broke past the quarter billion mark.

Smartphones outsell feature phones 6 to 4 and the growing demand is fueled by fast wireless Internet – 4G LTE in developed countries like the US and 3G in developing countries like China.

Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments (Millions of Units) Q3 '12 Q3 '13
Samsung 56.9 88.4
Apple 26.9 33.8
Huawei 7.6 12.7
LG 7.0 12.0
Lenovo 6.4 10.8
Others 68.0 93.7
Total 172.8 251.4

Samsung is riding the wave and shipped 88.4 million smartphones, capturing a record 35% of the market, up from 56.9 million shipments and 32.9% in Q3 last year. The Galaxy S4 sold over 40 million units and even though shipments of the model might be starting to slow down, the Galaxy Note 3 takes over with solid demand. It's not just flagships either, Samsung is strong in the low-end with devices like the Galaxy Y.

Apple retains its second place but despite an increase in shipments of 26% (the industry average is 45%), the company lost some ground and had 13.4% of the market, down from 15.6%. The launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c (mostly the 5s) towards the end of the quarter didn't help the company retain its market share. Apple will be hoping that the China Mobile deal bears fruit quickly or it risks seeing its share drop to single digits at the start of 2014.

Strategy Analytics calls Huawei a "star performer" with a sizable 67% jump in shipments to 12.7 million. Huawei's Ascend P6 and G610s are the best sellers, but Huawei's market is mostly in China, the company is weak in the US and Europe.

LG holds the fourth spot with the highest increase in shipments of 71%. The company's position is the opposite of Huawei – LG is growing fast in Europe but is weak in China. Lenovo is close behind with 10.8 million smartphones shipped. The company has popular mass market devices in China and is expanding internationally.

Global Smartphone Vendor Marketshare  % Q3 '12 Q3 '13
Samsung 32.9% 35.2%
Apple 15.6% 13.4%
Huawei 4.4% 5.1%
LG 4.1% 4.8%
Lenovo 3.7% 4.3%
Others 39.4% 37.3%
Total 100.0% 100.0%
Total Growth Year-over-Year % 44.0% 45.5%

Check out Strategy Analytics' blog post for more info.