Samsung and Apple still dominate the global smartphone market with double-digit million sales volume, but smaller players are gaining quickly and eating at the leaders’ market share, new industry figures show.
The research firm IDC today released unit sales figures for smartphones for the second quarter of 2013 and they show that Samsung still leads with a 30.4 percent market share, followed by Apple with a 13.1 percent share. But those shares are down from 32.2 percent and 16.6 percent, respectively, for the second quarter of 2012. The reason? Rivals like LG and Lenovo achieved unit sales growth of 108.6 percent and 130.6 percent, respectively, in 2Q13, meaning they are making sales that might otherwise have gone to Samsung or Apple, even as those brands grew sales, too.
“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.”
New product introductions also affect sales in particular time periods. Samsung introduced the Galaxy S IV during the second quarter and the South Korean company did sell 72.4 million units in the period ended June 30, a 44 percent increase from the year ago quarter. Apple, however, posted its second-lowest year-over-year growth rate in the second quarter (20 percent), which IDC attributes to Apple fans holding off on a purchase of a new iPhone until the next-generation device comes out sometime in the fall. Apple also appears to have lost sales to people choosing the Samsung GS4 or the HTC One.
IDC also notes that LG has made big sales gains by flooding its product pipeline with the new Nexus 4 and the Optimus G Pro, while Lenovo racked up sales in China, where it is based.
Further evidence of the diversification of the smartphone market is the fact that the category with the biggest market share, 42.4 percent, in the quarter was “Other.” Close to 101 million units were sold globally by vendors other than the top five. Add to that the fact that overall smartphone sales rose by 52.3 percent in the quarter to 238 million units and you’ll see that selling smartphones is a great business to be in.
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