Apple hits three-year low in smartphone marketshare, shipment figures reveal

Fresh reports on the state of the cellphone market during Q2 2013 have blown through the barn door, and industry analysts are flaunting some fairly impressive figures. Smartphones have outsold their less-intelligent brethren for the second quarter in a row, and Strategy Analytics says shipments hit a record-breaking 237.9 million. According to IDC, Samsung managed to ship a total of 72.4 million smartphones during Q2 -- a 43.9% boost year-over-year -- with help of the Galaxy S 4 and price cuts to the GS3. To put that in perspective, that's more than double the 31.2 million iPhones Apple managed to ship, and Strategy Analytics claims this marks a three-year low in Cook and Co.'s marketshare. While LG and ZTE each occupy third and fifth place, respectively, Lenovo pushed Huawei out of the number four slot by sending out 11.3 million handsets. If you're craving for more stats, hit the break for a trio of press releases.

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Growth Accelerates in the Worldwide Mobile Phone and Smartphone Markets in the Second Quarter, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. July 25, 2013 – The worldwide mobile phone market grew 6.0% year over year in the second quarter of 2013 (2Q13). According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 432.1 million mobile phones in 2Q13 compared to 407.7 million units in the second quarter of 2012. The 2Q13 total was also slightly higher than the 428.8 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2013.

The growth in the mobile phone market was partly driven by vendors from outside the Top 5 who experienced torrid shipment growth that outpaced the overall market. Several vendors, including Alcatel and Huawei, had high double- and triple-digit growth rates in the second quarter for their Android-based offerings shipped to high-growth countries such as China and India. In 2Q13, these vendors from outside the Top 5 accounted for 44.8% of the overall shipment volume, up from 42.2% in the same quarter one year ago.

In the worldwide smartphone market, vendors shipped 237.9 million units in 2Q13 compared to the 156.2 million units shipped in 2Q12. This represents 52.3% year-over-year-growth, the highest annual growth rate in five quarters. Second quarter shipments were up 10.0% when compared to the 216.3 million units shipped in 1Q13.

"The smartphone market is still a rising tide that's lifting many ships," said Kevin Restivo, Senior Research Analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. "Though Samsung and Apple are the dominant players, the market is as fragmented as ever. There is ample opportunity for smartphone vendors with differentiated offerings."

"Market opportunities exist at all levels, including the high end," says Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team. "While Samsung and Apple accounted for significant share of the overall market, they were not the only vendors active in the high end of the market, and recent device introductions and upcoming launches signal more vendors targeting this space. Comparisons will certainly be made to the flagship Galaxy and iPhone models, but clearly the competition refuses to be shut out altogether.

"The opposite end of the spectrum is just as, if not more, interesting," added Llamas. "Lower-priced smartphones continue to gain traction, but the key for vendors will be to keep prices low while still offering premium devices and services. We fully expect to see large-screen smartphones and other flagship devices establish a presence within the lower-priced smartphone segment as well."

Smartphone Vendor Highlights

Samsung, on the heels of its Galaxy S4 launch during the quarter, saw its volumes reach new levels and accounted for nearly a third of the entire smartphone market. Not to be overlooked is the continued success of its Galaxy S III smartphones, which saw renewed interest following discounted prices in advance of the Galaxy S4 launch. By the end of the quarter, Samsung more than doubled the total volumes of the next largest vendor, and shipped more units than the next four vendors combined.

Apple posted its second-lowest year-over-year iPhone growth rate in almost four years as some buyers presumably held off on iPhone purchases in advance of an expected next-generation device launch this fall. Nonetheless, the 31.2 million iPhones Apple shipped last quarter was impressive as its flagship iPhone 5 model, which has been in the market for three quarters, was faced with additional global competition in the form of Samsung's Galaxy S4 and HTC's critically-acclaimed One models. Apple's growth is likely to accelerate globally assuming it launches a lower-cost iPhone and continues to penetrate prepaid markets in the quarters to come.

LG sustained its momentum from the first quarter of 2013 with total shipments more than double the volume from a year ago for the second consecutive quarter and staying slightly ahead of the competition to retain the number 3 position. More importantly, the company realized a profit from its steady diet of Android-powered smartphones, a feat that very few Android vendors have been able to realize. Now that LG has reinvigorated its product portfolio with the Nexus 4 and the Optimus G Pro, the company is aiming to branch out further into the high end with its upcoming G2, and into the mass market with its L-Series II and F-Series smartphones.

Lenovo returned to the smartphone Top 5 after a two-quarter absence, reaching double-digit shipments in the process. Its volume for the quarter was driven in large part by shipments to 3G operators in China where it is based. A variety of its LePhone brand family phones, such as the A728t, were among its popular models last quarter. Lenovo hopes to build on its recent success with international diversification efforts that will lead it to regions like Latin America in coming quarters.

ZTE finished among the smartphone leaders for the fourth straight quarter thanks to its success in the Asia/Pacific region. ZTE hopes to remain a smartphone stalwart, which is why it has set a goal of 50 million smartphone shipments this year. The company is trying to reach its goal in part by selling 11 LTE-enabled smartphones. Also, ZTE is selling higher-cost products in a wider variety of countries including India where it recently launched six new smartphones, such as the Grand X, this month.

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Global Smartphone Shipments Hit Record 230 Million Units in Q2 2013

BOSTON, July 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments grew 47 percent annually to reach a record 230 million units in the second quarter of 2013. Samsung captured one-third of all smartphone volumes worldwide, while Apple's marketshare fell to its lowest level for three years.

Neil Shah, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, "Global smartphone shipments grew 47 percent annually from 156.5 million units in Q2 2012 to 229.6 million in Q2 2013. This was the largest volume of smartphones ever shipped in a single quarter. Smartphones accounted for 59 percent of all mobile phones shipped globally. The smartphone industry's shipment growth rate, which is higher today than a year ago, is being driven by surging demand for 4G models in developed regions like the US and 3G models in emerging markets such as India."

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, "Samsung grew 56 percent annually and shipped a record 76.0 million smartphones worldwide, capturing 33 percent marketshare in Q2 2013. Samsung shipped over two times more smartphones than Apple during the quarter. The flagship Galaxy S4 model experienced solid demand in China and worldwide and helped to lift volumes. Samsung's next major flagship launch is likely to be the rumored Note 3 model later this year. Apple shipped 31.2 million iPhones worldwide in Q2 2013, up from 26.0 million a year earlier. Apple grew just 20 percent annually during Q2 2013, which is less than half the overall smartphone industry average of 47 percent. Apple's global smartphone marketshare of 14 percent is at its lowest level since the second quarter of 2010. The current iPhone portfolio is under-performing and Apple is at risk of being trapped in a pincer movement between rival 3-inch Android models at the low-end and 5-inch Android models at the high-end."

Linda Sui, Analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, "LG was a star performer as global shipments doubled year-over-year to 12.1 million units in Q2 2013. LG captured 5 percent share and maintained its position as the world's third largest smartphone vendor for the second straight quarter. The popular Optimus and Nexus models have been the main drivers of LG's success. If LG can expand its retail presence and marketing in major countries such as the US or China, LG could quietly start to challenge Apple for second position."

Other findings from the research include:

ZTE shipped 11.5 million smartphones worldwide for a record 5 percent marketshare in Q2 2013. ZTE became the world's fourth largest smartphone vendor for the first time ever in its history. Growth was driven mostly by a strong performance in the huge China market;

Huawei shipped 11.1 million smartphones worldwide for 5 percent marketshare in Q2 2013. With Huawei in fifth position, ZTE in fourth, LG in third and Samsung in first, the global smartphone market is now clearly dominated by Asian-based brands.

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Samsung and Apple Successfully Fend Off Low-Cost Smartphone Vendors for Another Quarter

Singapore - 26 Jul 2013

​ For the second calendar quarter in a row, smartphone shipments represented more than half (52%) of the world's mobile phone shipments. Led by electronics manufacturer Samsung, an estimated 408 million handsets and 214 million smartphones shipped during the second quarter of 2013, according to market intelligence firm ABI Research. Feature phone shipments declined 20% year-over-year to 195 million units as low-cost manufacturers continue to claw their way up-market with increased device specifications.

Due to typical seasonality gains at mid-year, handset shipments grew 0.5% sequentially and more than 7% year-over-year. Smartphone shipments maintained a healthy growth rate of 5.5% sequentially and nearly 44% year-over-year. "Despite concerns of premium tier smartphone saturation, both Samsung and Apple were able to deliver better than expected results in the second quarter," says senior analyst Michael Morgan.

The high end of the smartphone market continued to perform well in 2Q as Samsung Galaxy S4 and Apple iPhones outpaced the overall market. Despite the surprising tenacity of premium smartphones, Apple's market share (14.6%) dropped to its lowest point since 3Q'2011. ABI Research attributes this share loss to the success of the Samsung Galaxy S4 launch and the continued growth of low cost and mass market smartphone shipments.

"The second half of 2013 will be defined by fierce competition between price-aggressive OEMs moving toward the middle tiers for increased margins while at the same time top tier OEMs are diversifying portfolios into the middle in search of continued growth," adds senior practice director Jeff Orr. As competitors such as Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo move their smartphone portfolios upstream, ABI Research expects increasing margin pressure on the premium smartphone segment where the majority of industry profits reside.