The global smartphone tipping point is nigh, analysts claim [and Samsung’s way ahead of Apple…]
It’s that time of year again. Analysts are busy crunching the numbers for Q1 ‘13 global mobile device shipments and predicting who’ll dominate in coming months.
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the worldwide mobile phone market grew 4% year over year in Q1, while smartphones outshipped feature phones for the first time.
IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker found that vendors shipped 418.6 million mobile phones in total in 1Q13, compared to 402.4 million units in 1Q12.
Vendors moved 216.2 million smartphones, or 51.6% of total phone shipments, in 1Q13 – a 41.6% increase on the 152.7 million units shipped in 1Q12.
IDC senior analyst Kevin Restivo said: “Phone users want computers in their pockets. The days where phones are used primarily to make phone calls and send text messages are quickly fading away.”
“As a result, the balance of smartphone power has shifted to phone makers that are most dependent on smartphones.”
IDC also predicted that Chinese smartphone vendors would continue to make inroads in the market. Research manager Ramon Llamas said: “A year ago, it was common to see previous market leaders Nokia, BlackBerry (then Research In Motion), and HTC among the top five.”
“While those companies have been in various stages of transformation since, Chinese vendors, including Huawei and ZTE as well as Coolpad and Lenovo, have made significant strides to capture new users with their respective Android smartphones.”
But Samsung’s still the undisputed smartphone leader
Samsung’s stronghold on the smartphone market remained unchallenged in 1Q13. In fact, by the close of the first quarter it moved more smartphones than the combined efforts of the next four vendors. The company’s hotly-anticipated Samsung Galaxy S4 is expected to further drive sales.
While lagging behind Samsung, Apple enjoyed a Q1 shipment high due, in part, to the iPhone 5 release, growing 6.6% year on year.
Following a two-quarter absence, LG regained its footing in the smartphone top five. Its L series and Nexus 4 LTE-enabled devices, including the Optimus G series, drove the renewed growth.
Meanwhile Huawei and ZTE rounded out the best-sellers list. Thanks to concerted efforts Huawei almost doubled its smartphone unit shipments outside of Asia-Pacific compared to 1Q12. ZTE, one the other hand, continued to grow its presence in Asia-Pacific and North America while making few inroads in EMEA and Latin America.
“The trends continue for smartphones,” GoMobile Solutions CEO Damien Zamora said.
“More and more businesses are recognizing the need for a mobile presence.”
He added: “Any type of business can benefit from mobile marketing because that’s where all of the people are spending their time.”