Will the year-long duopoly in the smartphone market finally come to an end? For the first time in a long time, Samsung sold fewer smartphones in the past quarter. A host of Chinese manufacturers took advantage of that, Apple not so much.
Samsung and Apple struggle
A few numbers from IDC's quarterly overview, the Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker show that 23.1 % more smartphones, compared to last year's same quarter, were sold in the past quarter for a total of 295.3 million. However, South Korean Samsung sold fewer smartphones for the first time (from 77.3 million to 74.3 million), dropping its market share from 32.3 to 25.2 %.
Main rival Apple barely took advantage of the drop: it sold 35.1 iPhones, nearly 3 million more than 2013's second quarter, but not enough to keep up with the market evolution. That means that Apple now has a 11.9 % market share, compared to 13 % last year.
Last time LG featured in top 5?
"As the death of the feature phone approaches more rapidly than before, it is the Chinese vendors that are ready to usher emerging market consumers into smartphones", Melissa Chau (senior research manager) said. Chinese Huawei is the biggest winner: it shipped nearly double the amount of smartphones in the previous quarter, compared to that quarter last year - from 10.4 million to 20.3 million, worth a 6.9 % market share (4.3 % last year). Lenovo, another Chinese brand, reached number 4. It reached 15.8 million smartphones in the past quarter, nearly 3.5 million more than last year and good for a 5.4 % market share (up from 4.7 %).
South Korean LG is the fifth in the list, selling 2.4 million more than last year, reaching 14.5 million smartphones. Its market share has dropped to 4.9 % (- 0.1 %), which IDC believes to be writing on the wall. "Right now we have more than a dozen vendors that are capable of landing in the top 5 next quarter. A handful of these companies are currently operating in a single country, but no one should mistake that for complacency – they all recognize the opportunity that lies outside their home turf." It might very well be that we have 3 Chinese companies in the top 5 next quarter.