Today, IDC reports that smartphone vendors shipped 327.6m devices in Q3 2014, indicating in 25.2% growth when compared to the 261.7m units shipped in Q3 2013, and 8.7% sequential growth above the 301.3m units last quarter.
That’s good news for the smartphone market, especially when rumors of a slowdown have been rife over the past few months. In fact, this quarter also saw Xiaomi enter the list of the top five smartphone vendors in the world, placing 3rd with a Q3 shipment volume of 17.3m units. The Beijing, China-based manufacturer’s sales in China, India and nearby markets made for 211.3 percent year-over-year growth, with the well-priced Mi4 doing exceedingly well.
While Xiaomi’s Android smartphone models are already popular in the Chinese market, Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston says their next step for growth is “to target the international market in Asia and Europe, where it may face stronger headwinds of low brand awareness and technology-patent challenges next year.”
In spite of their declining sales this quarter, Samsung still leads the race at 78.3m units (down from 85m in Q3 2013), owing much of its recent sales to mid-range and low-end models for a change. In second place, Apple has had its largest third-quarter volume ever with sales of 39.3m units, including the 10m iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units they sold over the launch weekend, as well as strong figures for last year’s iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.
Lastly, Lenovo and LG tied for fourth place with sales of 16.9m and 16.8m units, with both companies benefiting from mid-range devices and lower price points for new releases. With the arrival of Android 5.0 Lollipop, it’ll be worth keeping an eye on Q4 to see how much market share Android device manufacturers can gain by the end of the year.
Update: Since Lenovo has completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility today, their combined market share of 8.7% is greater than Xiaomi’s 5.3% share. However, Motorola will continue to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary and it’s not yet clear whether the two brands will be listed as one, or separate, as they are now, in upcoming sales reports. We’ve reached out to IDC for comment and are awaiting their response.