The worldwide smartphone market is continuing its healthy growth, but the shake-up in smartphone vendors is becoming more apparent, according to latest figures from market research firm IDC.
Global smartphone shipments hit a new record of 295.3 million units in the second quarter of 2014, posting a 23.1 percent growth year over year and an increase of 2.6 percent from the previous quarter, data from IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker show. The research firm notes that the growth is “fueled by ongoing demand for mobile computing and an abundance of low-cost smartphones” and it expects smartphone shipments to surpass 300 million units for the first time ever in a single quarter in Q3 2014.
However, Samsung has lost 7 percent of its market share from the same quarter a year ago, according to the latest IDC figures. This is despite seeing its new flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone ship “millions of units” this quarter, with Galaxy S4 and S3 shipment volumes remaining “strong” as less-costly choices, IDC noted. This is primarily because Samsung faces the threat posed by more localized smartphone firms, as IDC said that Samsung needs to “focus on building momentum in markets dominated by local brands.”
China is one of the markets where Samsung is facing a lot of competition, as local brands have been aggressively expanding not only in their home turf, but also overseas markets.
IDC noted that a wide range of Chinese smartphone manufacturers “more than outpaced the market” in the second quarter of 2014. It singled out Huawei as the “most impressive” with nearly double the shipments from the same period a year ago, as well as Lenovo, which had a “record quarter” in China. Furthermore, the share of Lenovo’s shipments outside of China in the second quarter of 2014 was almost triple that of the 5 percent share recorded in Q2 2013, IDC observed. This momentum could pick up once Lenovo’s acquisition of Motorola is officially closed.
The program director of IDC’s mobile phone tracker data, Ryan Reith, said: “Right now we have more than a dozen vendors that are capable of landing in the top 5 next quarter. A handful of these companies are currently operating in a single country, but no one should mistake that for complacency – they all recognize the opportunity that lies outside their home turf.”
Meanwhile, IDC noted that even though the second quarter is always Apple’s seasonal low of the year, it is “even more so this time in advance of the iPhone 6, with consumers holding their collective breath for the long-awaited bigger screens.” However, it isn’t all gloomy for Apple, as IDC said that iPhones continued selling well in Brazil, Russia, India and China, which is a sign that it is increasing its presence in emerging markets.
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