Emerging Vendors, Markets Drive Global Smartphone Sales
The global smartphone market shows no signs of slowing down, according to a recent IDC report, which also signals the death of the feature phone is approaching more rapidly than before. The worldwide market for smartphones grew 23.1% year-over-year last quarter, setting a new quarter record of 295.3 million shipments, according to IDC. Shipments were up 2.6% sequentially from a strong first quarter, largely by continuing demand from emerging markets and rise of newer vendors.
The shake-up in smartphone vendors is becoming more apparent from Samsung and Apple both losing out in different ways from the earlier quarters. While Samsung continues to lead, it had a smaller market share as well as smaller shipment volume compared to the second quarter of 2013. In the second quarter of 2013, Samsung had shipment volume of 77.3 million smartphones compared to 74.3 million here in Q2 2014. Samsung’s market share also went down - 32.3% domination of the market fell to 25.2% over the past year.
Apple on the other hand increased its shipment volume from 31.2 million units in the second quarter of 2013 to 35.1 million units here in Q2 2014. That’s a 12.4% increase in shipments. Meanwhile their market share went down, 13% to 11.9% over the past year.
Huawei made the biggest gains over the past year, bringing a whopping 95.1% increase year-over-year. Huawei shipped 10.4 million units in Q2 2013 and 20.3 million units in Q2 2014. Their market share went up several points as well, from 4.3% to 6.9%.
Lenovo and LG closely followed with 11.4 million units and 12.1 million units in Q2 2013 respectively, rolling up to 15.8 million units and 14.5 million units in Q2 2014. Lenovo saw a 38.7% gain in shipments while LG went up 19.8%. Their market shares stayed similar as well, with Lenovo moving from 4.7% to 5.4% while LG went down a tenth of a point, 5.0% to 4.9% year-over-year.
China continues to be a focal point for all mobile OEMs such that even domestic companies like Lenovo are facing increasing pressure but creating their own record shipments.
“As the death of the feature phone approaches more rapidly than before, it is the Chinese vendors that are ready to usher emerging market consumers into smartphones,” IDC senior research manager Melissa Chau said in a release with the quarterly figures adding that “The offer of smartphones at a much better value than the top global players but with a stronger build quality and larger scale than local competitors gives these vendors a precarious competitive advantage.”
While IDC cited the abundance of low-priced smartphones that are fueling the quarterly growth, looking forward, IDC analysts project that smartphone shipments will break the 300 million unit mark during the third quarter for the first time ever. However, it does not want to reflect on a long term growth trajectory of smartphones currently.
Based on its last week’s predictions on global tablet market, IDC said tablets might still continue to enjoy a longer boom in the business sector as analysts reflected the recent Apple-IBM partnership will boost tablet usage with more enterprise-specific offerings.
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