Samsung continues to trounce arch-rival Apple in the smartphone market, according to Gartner's latest second quarter figures.
Globally, smartphone sales rocketed 46.5 per cent compared with Q2 2012, with 435 million units sold in the period. However, sales of feature phones dropped 21 per cent year-on-year to 210 million units.
Samsung sat comfortably at the top of the smartphone table with 31.7 per cent market share, with Apple trailing behind with 14.2 per cent market share. Third in the table was LG Electronics with 5.1 per cent, and Lenovo was in fourth place with 4.7 per cent.
Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner, said: "Smartphones accounted for 51.8 per cent of mobile phone sales in the second quarter of 2013, resulting in smartphone sales surpassing feature phone sales for the first time."
In terms of region, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe exhibited the highest smartphone growth rates of 74.1 per cent, 55.7 per cent and 31.6 per cent respectively.
With the spotlight on smartphone operating systems (OS), Microsoft leapfrogged BlackBerry for the first time, taking the number three spot with 3.3 per cent market share in Q2 2013. Android was way up front with 79 per cent market share, with iOs in second place with 14.2 per cent. BlackBerry sat in fourth place with 2.7 per cent market share.
Gupta said: "While Microsoft has managed to increase share and volume in the quarter, Microsoft should continue to focus on growing interest from app developers to help grow its appeal among users."
Vendor breakdown (in Gartner's words):
Samsung: Samsung remained in the number one position in the overall mobile phone market, with sales to end users growing 19 per cent in the second quarter of 2013. Gupta said: "We see demand in the premium smartphone market come mainly from the lower end of this segment in the $400-and-below ASP mark. It will be critical for Samsung to step up its game in the mid-tier and also be more aggressive in emerging markets. Innovation cannot be limited to the high end."
Nokia: Slowing demand for feature phones across many markets worldwide, as well as fierce competition in the smartphone segment, affected Nokia's mobile phone sales in the second quarter of 2013. Nokia's mobile phone sales totalled 61 million units, down from 83 million units a year ago. Nokia's Lumia sales grew 112.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2013 due to its expanded Lumia portfolio, which now includes Lumia 520 and Lumia 720. "With the recent announcement of the Lumia 1020, Nokia has built a wide portfolio of devices at multiple price points, which should boost Lumia sales in the second half of 2013," said Gupta. "However, Nokia is facing tough competition from Android devices, especially from regional and Chinese manufacturers, which are more aggressive in terms of price points."
Apple: While sales continued to grow, the company faced a significant drop in the ASP of its smartphones. Despite the iPhone 5 being the most popular model, its ASP declined to the lowest figure registered by Apple since the iPhone's launch in 2007. The ASP reduction is due to strong sales of the iPhone 4, which is sold at a strongly discounted price. Gupta said: "While Apple's ASP demonstrates the need for a new flagship model, it is risky for Apple to introduce a new lower-priced model too. Although the possible new lower-priced device may be priced similarly to the iPhone 4 at $300 to $400, the potential for cannibalisation will be much greater than what is seen today with the iPhone 4. Despite being seen as the less expensive sibling of the flagship product, it would represent a new device with the hype of the marketing associated with it."
Lenovo: Lenovo's mobile phone sales grew 60.6 per cent to reach 11 million units in the second quarter of 2013. Lenovo's quarter performance was bolstered by smartphone sales. Its smartphone sales grew 144 per cent year-on-year and helped it rise to the number four spot in the worldwide smartphone market for the first time. Lenovo continues to rely heavily on its home market in China, which represents more than 95 per cent of its sales. It remains challenging for Lenovo to expand outside China as it has to strengthen its direct channel as well as its relationships with communications service providers.
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