Friday, April 26, 2013

First time ever: Smartphone shipments top feature phones

 photo AlaskaAirlines.jpg
Market research firm IDC announced a first on Thursday: It wasn't a first for the company, but a first for the cell phone industry. For the first time, ever, smartphone shipments eclipsed feature phone sales, in Q1 2013.

IDC said that of the 418.6 million cell phones shipped during Q1 2013, more than half -- 216.2 million of 51.6 percent -- were smartphones. In addition, Samsung had an amazing quarter shipping 60 percent more handsets than in Q1 2012.

Of note, though, is that although the market grew 41.6 percent compared to the 152.7 million units shipped in Q1 2012, the Q1 2013 figure was 5.1 percent lower than the 227.8 million units shipped just last quarter, Q4 2012.

Meanwhile, IDC also revealed the top five handset makers from Q1 2013. They were:
  • Samsung: 70.7 million units shipped (up from 44.0 million units in Q1 2012), 32.7 percent market share (up from 28.8 percent in Q1 2012)
  • Apple: 37.4 million units sold (up from 35.1 million units in Q1 2012), 17.3 percent market share (down from 23.0 percent in Q1 2012)
  • LG: 10.3 million units shipped (up from 4.9 million units in Q1 2012), 4.8 percent market share (up from 3.2 percent in Q1 2012)
  • Huawei: 9.9 million units shipped (up from 5.1 million units in Q1 2012), 4.6 percent market share (up from 3.3 percent in Q1 2012)
  • ZTE: 9.1 million units shipped (up from 6.1 million units in Q1 2012), 4.2 percent market share (up from 4.0 percent in Q1 2012)
Interestingly enough, there are quite a few notable OEMs that are absent from the top five: HTC, Motorola, BlackBerry and Nokia, with the latter two once being high-flying stars in the device world. Nokia, in particular, until last year had held the top spot among cell phone manufacturers for 14 years.

Notably, while Apple lost market share, it grew its volume. Disappointingly, perhaps, for shareholders, it only did so by 6.6 percent year-over-year. That growth rate puts it far behind not only Samsung (at 60.7 percent volume growth), but also the other members of the top five: LG (110.2 percent growth); Huawei (94.1 percent); and ZTE (49.2 percent).

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