The mobile industry hit a notable milestone last year after one billion smartphones were shipped for the first time, according to a new report from IDC. The research firm notes that Samsung is the “clear leader” in terms of market share, despite seeing a slight decline in the final quarter of 2013.
Global smartphone shipment volumes reached 1.004 billion (55.1 percent of all shipments — 494.4 million smartphones shipped in the final quarter alone) in 2013, meaning that smartphones overtook feature phones annually for the first time. Last year, they had accounted for 41.7 percent of all shipments and, with incremental increases each quarter, the change was very much on the cards.
Samsung increased its leading share from 30.3 percent last year to 31.3 percent, IDC estimates that the Korean company — which does not report sales or shipment figures — shipped 313.9 million devices in 2013. Apple’s record haul of 153.4 million units put it second with 15.3 percent. Though the US firm sold 12.9 percent more devices than in 2012, its market share actually declined by 3.4 percent in 2013.
Reflecting on the data, IDC notes that Apple saw “sustained demand” following the release of its new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c devices, but posted the least growth of the top five. Now that it has landed NTT Docomo in Japan and China Mobile, the world largest carrier, it may see a boost in 2014. Samsung meanwhile, continues to dominate, but — as we mentioned when reporting figures from Kantar yesterday — there is some concern it is conceding market share.
Huawei held on to third place despite close competition and — as we said yesterday — LG’s ongoing revival shows there is room for success on Android despite Samsung’s dominance. Perhaps most interesting is Lenovo, which sits in the top five despite not having any presence in the US or European mobile markets.
That order was much the same in the final quarter of the year, when both Apple and Samsung saw market share decline slightly year-on-year, as Huawei, Lenovo and LG all posted gains.
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