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Samsung sells more smartphones, Apple’s ecosystem falters Featured
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More than one in three of all smartphones sold in the world last quarter were from Samsung. Huawei and LG are growing quickly, while Apple’s share continued to decline.

New data from US market analyst company Strategy Analytics shows the world smartphone market reached 251 million units last quarter – an annual run rate of over a billion units.

Six out of every ten phones sold around the world last quarter were smartphones. Leading supplier, and increasing its lead, is Samsung which accounted for 88.4 million units, or 35.2% of the total. Apple is still number two, but its growth rate is less than half that of Samsung’s, at 24.6% over the same quarter last year, and a market share of 13.4%.

Global smartphone shipments, Q3 2013 v Q3 2012

Vendor

2013 Units

2013 %

Growth

2012 Units

2012 %

Samsung

88.4

35.2

55.0

57.0

32.7

Apple

33.6

13.4

24.6

27.0

15.6

Huawei

12.8

5.1

67.0

7.7

4.4

LG

12.0

4.8

71.0

7.0

4.1

Others

104.2

41.5

40.0

74.4

43.2

TOTAL

251.0

100.0

45.0

173.1

100.0

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Strategy Analytics

Android suppliers Huawei (which sells mainly in the Chinese market) and LG both increased market share, and experienced even higher growth rates than Samsung.

The main reason for Apple’s decline, says Strategy Analytics, is its weakness in key areas of the mobile ecosystem, notably social networking, location and advertising. The firm’s report “Handset Vendor Content and Services Strategies: Apple“ says the recently launched iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C have failed to address Apple's weakness in these areas.

“Apple is the clear market leader today with compelling devices and a slick OS, and an extremely strong and vibrant app store” says Strategy Analytics David MacQueen. And in iTunes it has the best suite of audiovisual content offered by any vendor. The tight integration of these assets creates strong brand loyalty amongst its user base.

But McQueen also says that despite recently announcing a suite of new devices and a significant revision of its OS, “any meaningful measures to improve its areas of weakness are eye-catchingly missing from its latest announcements.

“Apple Maps has not evolved significantly, and Apple's play into the mobile wallet space, Passbook, remains under-utilised by the retail sector. In the future we anticipate Apple increasing its internal efforts, or possibly targeting some acquisitions in order to retain its leadership in the smartphone and tablet sectors.”

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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