Smartphones outsell feature phones globally
Everyone is going smart. This is because mobile phone sales data for the year 2013 show that, for the first time ever, smartphones outsold dumb phones globally. Out of a total 1.8 billion handsets sold last year, 968 million were smartphones, accounting for 53.6% of mobile phones sold world wide – that’s according to market estimates by Gartner.
The data released by Gartner reveals that Samsung topped the smartphone market by selling close to 300 million units (31% of market share) up from 205 million units (30% market share) sold the previous year. Following a distant second is Apple that sold slightly more than half the units sold by Samsung thereby taking up 15.6% of market share. LG, Huawei and Lenovo managed not to be in the list of others by taking up 4.8, 4.8, and 4.5 percent of the smartphone market respectively. Others took the largest share of the market at 39.3% by selling well over 380 million units of smartphones.
Gartner further analyzed the market share by manufacturer and reported as follows:
Samsung: While Samsung’s smartphone share was up in 2013 it slightly fell by 1.6 percentage points in the fourth quarter of 2013. This was mainly due to a saturated high-end smartphone market in developed regions. It remains critical for Samsung to continue to build on its technology leadership at the high end. Samsung will also need to build a clearer value proposition around its midrange smartphones, defining simpler user interfaces, pushing the right features as well as seizing the opportunity of bringing innovations to stand out beyond price in this growing segment.
Apple: Strong sales of the iPhone 5s and continued strong demand for the 4s in emerging markets helped Apple see record sales of 50.2 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2013.
“However, Apple’s share in smartphone declined both in the fourth quarter of 2013 and in 2013, but growth in sales helped to raise share in the overall mobile phone market,” said Mr. Gupta. “With Apple adding NTT DOCOMO in Japan for the first time in September 2013 and signing a deal with China Mobile during the quarter, we are already seeing an increased growth in the Japanese market and we should see the impact of the last deal in the first quarter of 2014.”
Huawei: Huawei smartphone sales grew 85.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 to maintain the No. 3 spot year over year. Huawei has moved quickly to align its organization to focus on the global market. Huawei’s overseas expansion delivered strong results in the fourth quarter of 2013, with growth in the Middle East and Africa, Asia/Pacific, Latin America and Europe.
Lenovo: Lenovo saw smartphone sales in 2013 increase by 102.3 percent and by 63.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. Lenovo’s Motorola acquisition from Google will give Lenovo an opportunity to expand within the Americas.
“The acquisition will also provide Lenovo with patent protection and allow it to expand rapidly across the global market,” said Mr. Gupta. “We believe this deal is not just about entering into the U.S., but more about stepping out of China.”
Another important metric that Gartner looked into is the sales by operating system. Android is still the king of smartphone market accounting for 78.4% of all smartphones sold in 2013 up from 66.4% the previous year. Since Apple is the only guy selling gadgets on iOS, the 150 million units sold still accounted for 15.6% by OS, down from 19.1% the previous year. This time those who managed not to be in the list of others are Microsoft and Blackberry accounting for 2.5 and 5 percent respectively. Others were able to sell 6.9% of gadgets running on their operating systems.
It is important to point out at this point, that although Samsung and Google were king of smartphones in hardware and OS respectively, Apple that was at a distant second on units sold still managed to collect majority of the revenue the smartphone market offered in 2013 (read – Apple vs Android: When market share doesn’t bring food to the table).