Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Chinese smartphone manufacturers take on the big two: Samsung, Apple in Q2 2013 report

Market research firm Canalys' latest report shows that -- year-over-year -- while Samsung and Apple grew their Q2 shipments 55 percent and 20 percent, respectively, it was a pair of Chinese handset manufacturers who really scored when looking at a 2012 to 2013 comparison. Canalys released its report on Monday.

Samsung grew from shipments of 48.9 million handsets in Q2 2012 to 75.6 million in Q2 2013. Meanwhile, Apple rose from 26.0 million to 31.2 million. Lenovo, though, grew 131 percent to 11.3 million. Little-known Yulong rose 3.4 million to 10.8 million, or 216 percent.

Rounding out the top five was LG, with a rise of 93 percent to 10.7 million. The five Chinese vendors shipping the most devices globally (Lenovo, Yulong, Huawei, ZTE, and Xiaomi) made up 20 percent of the total market, up from less than 15 percent a year ago.

Overall, Canalys estimated that some 238.1 million smartphones shipped in Q2 2013, which is a 50 percent increase year-over-year.

Canalys VP and Principal Analyst Chris Jones said, in a statement:
The high end of the market continues to grow but there is no doubt that the explosive growth will come from the low end of the market. Apple needs to respond to this dynamic and it is evident from the performance of its older models this quarter that there is real demand for a new low-cost iPhone. The challenge that it faces is maintaining high margins on arguably the most important products in its portfolio.
A low -- or rather, lower-cost iPhone is expected to ship from Apple later this year. It's not expected, though, to compete with the lowest-cost Android phones, with a price of upwards of $300 unsubsidized (meaning without a contract).

In terms of which markets to look at, Chinese shipments grew 108 percent from Q2 2012 to 88.1 million which amounts to over 1/3 of all global smartphone shipments. In second was the United States, with 32.9 million smartphones shipped. India made a bigger leap than China, jumping to 9.0 million and third place, a rise of 129 percent.

Platform-wise, Android grew the fastest during the quarter, which should surprise no one. It rose 79 percent year-over-year, shipping on 80 percent -- or 190 million -- of the smartphones that shipped in Q2 2013. Apple’s iOS dropped to 13 percent, while Windows Phone and BlackBerry kept their three percent (each) share.

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