Friday, November 15, 2013

Buoyed by Chinese sales, Android grabs 82 percent of the global smartphone market

China is the current biggest smartphone market, and with that, this Gartner report, issued on Thursday, has to make Google smile. As of Q3 2013, Android now owns 81.9 percent of the global smartphone market. Much of the increase from Q3 2012 (72.6 percent) was fueled by growth in China.

While China accounted for a dominant 41 percent of all Android sales in Q3 2013 -- up seven percent year-over-year, driven by sales of smartphones from in-country OEMs Coolpad and Xiaomi, it should be noted that many Chinese Android devices use highly customized builds of Android, and do not include the Google Play Store. While that might be seen as a major strike in developed nations (are you listening, Amazon.com), not so in China.

Other tidbits of information from the Gartner report:

Smartphone sales accounted for 55 percent of overall mobile phone sales in Q3 2013.

Despite its still-low market share, Gartner declared Windows Phone the Q3 2013 winner, as its market share rose by 56.5 percent, to 3.6 percent from Q2 2012's 2.3 percent. In addition, shipments surged 123 percent, from 3.9 million devices last year to 8.9 million.

The top five mobile phone -- not smartphone -- OEMs are:
  • Samsung, 25.7 percent (up from 22.7 percent)
  • Nokia, 13.8 percent (down from 19.1 percent)
  • Apple, 6.7 percent (up from 5.7 percent)
  • LG Electronics, 4.0 percent (up from 3.2 percent)
  • ZTE, 3.0 percent (down from 3.9 percent)
The fact that the iPhone 5s and 5c were not released until the very end of Q3 could mean a significant difference between Q3 2013 and Q4 2013. It will be interesting to see how the numbers change in Gartner's next report.

Gartner principal research Anshul Gupta said in a statement:
While the arrival of the new iPhones 5S and 5C had a positive impact on overall sales, such impact could have been greater had they not started shipping late in the quarter. While we saw some inventory built up for the iPhone 5C, there was good demand for iPhone 5S with stock out in many markets.
He also added something that has been believed for some time: the price differential between the iPhone 5c and the flagship iPhone 5s is not significant enough to pull users away from the 5c, at least in mature markets, where carrier subsidies often skew pricing.



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