Global shipments of smartphones are continuing to increase, growing 45% to hit a record 251 million units in Q3 2013, from 172.8 million units a year ago, according to the latest report from Strategy Analytics.
“This was the first time ever that smartphone shipments exceeded a quarter-billion units in a single quarter. Smartphones accounted for 6 in 10 of all mobile phones shipped worldwide. The smartphone industry's robust growth is being driven by strong demand for LTE models in developed regions like the U.S. and 3G devices in emerging markets such as China,” said Linda Sui, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics.
Samsung is still the leading brand, capturing a record 35% share of all smartphone volumes worldwide. The Korea tech giant's shipments grew 55% over the last year as it shipped a record 88.4 million smartphones worldwide. Slowing shipments of its flagship Galaxy S4 was offset by strong demand for its new Note 3 phablet and lower-priced devices such as the Galaxy Y.
Though Samsung shipped over two times more smartphones than Apple during the quarter, Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston expects the Cupertino, Ca.-based company to “rebound sharply and regain share in the upcoming fourth quarter of 2013 due to high demand for its new iPhone 5s model.”
Apple shipped 33.8 million iPhones worldwide in Q3 2013, up from 26.9 million a year earlier. The slowing shipments as consumers waited for the release of the iPhone 5s and 5c meant that Apple grew just 26% annually during Q3 2013, or about half the overall smartphone industry average of 45%. Apple's global smartphone market share also decreased from 16% to 13% during the past year.
Huawei took the third place spot in the rankings as its global shipments grew 67% annually to 12.7 million units in Q3 2013. Though the Chinese company's 5% market share is considerably less than Samsung's or Apple's, it still makes Huawei the world's third largest smartphone vendor. Huawei's shipments were driven by the popularity of its P6 and G610 models in its domestic market.
“Huawei remains very strong at home in China, but its position is less robust in other major markets like the U.S. and Europe. Huawei will need to expand aggressively in the American and European markets if it wants to seriously challenge the big two of Samsung and Apple next year,” said Woody Oh, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics.
The other smartphone brands in the top five this quarter were LG, Lenovo
LG, which shipped 12 million smartphones worldwide for 5% market share in Q3 2013. The Korean company grew 71% annually, making it the fastest-growing vendor among the top five brands. Strategy Analytics noted that LG's growth was driven by demand in Europe, but that it still needs to catch up with its competitors in China and India.