First ever: more than 1 billion smartphones sold | RetailDetail

First ever: more than 1 billion smartphones sold

First ever: more than 1 billion smartphones sold

2013 was the first year ever with more than 1 billion smartphones sold worldwide in a single year. According to market research firm IDC that means sales doubled in merely two years.

Samsung increases lead on Apple

The mythical bar of 1 billion phones got breached now that 1.004 billion phones were sold in 2013. Sales grew 38.4 % compared to 2012 (725.3 million sales). Compared to 2011, smartphone sales have more than doubled as 494.4 million smartphones were sold in 2011, according to IDC.

Samsung leads the pack with a 31.3 % market share. It shipped 313.9 million smartphones (+ 42.9 %), which helped increase its lead on the competitors ever so slightly. Apple ranks second with 153.4 million iPhones (+ 12.9 %). Its market share dropped from 18.7 to 15.3 % though.

Huawei, LG and Lenovo complete the top 5 with market shares of 4.9, 4.8 and 4.5 %. These three are powering forward at a rapid pace though. Huawei sold 48.8 million smartphones (+ 67.5 %), LG sold 47.7 million (+ 81.1 %) and Lenovo managed 45.5 million smartphone sales (+ 91.7 %, nearly double its previous number).

Nokia still suffers

Smartphones make up 55.1 % of all mobile phones sold, an increase compared to the 41.7 % this specific sector reached in 2012. Last year, 1.82 billion mobile phones were shipped, 4.8 % more than in 2012.

When both sectors (smartphones and regular cellphones) are put together, Nokia manages to hold onto its second place, right between Samsung and Apple. It will however not be celebrating: It lost nearly a quarter of its sales in 2013, arriving at 251 million phones sold. Its market share went from 19.3 % to 13.8 %, which makes it the only one going down in the top 5.

Research firm IDC believes there are two reasons for the maintained success of smartphones: larger screens and low prices. “Of the two, I have to say that low cost is the key difference maker. […] Markets like China and India are quickly moving toward a point where sub-$150 smartphones are the majority of shipments, bringing a solid computing experience to the hands of many”, IDC’s Ramon Llamas said.


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