Samsung is forecast to extend its lead in the global smartphone market by about two percentage points this year, says Strategy Analytics, increasing its lead over Apple.
The research firm reckons that the South Korean vendor will capture a 33 percent share of the global smartphone market in 2013, up from last year’s estimated 31 percent, while Apple will hold 21 percent, compared to last year’s 20 percent.
“We expect Samsung to slightly extend its lead over Apple this year because of its larger multi-tier product portfolio,” Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said in an email interview with Reuters.
However, Mawston says that the situation could change if Apple decides to launch a smaller, cheaper ‘iPhone Mini’ targeting users of lower-end smartphones.
Samsung is forecast to sell 290 million smartphones this year, up from a projected 215 million in 2012, says Strategy Analytics. Apple’s iPhone sales are projected to hit 180 million, up 33 percent from last year – growing slightly slower than the 35 percent growth anticipated at Samsung.
The firm predicts that global smartphone shipments will jump 27 percent to 875 million this year.
Growth is expected to be slower than the 41 percent recorded in 2012 as demand eases in key markets in Asia and Western Europe, says Mawston.
Samsung itself has set ambitious targets for 2013, reportedly aiming to ship around 20 percent more devices this year than in 2012.
A separate survey this week by comScore found that Samsung was the leading smartphone OEM in the US in the three months to November 2012, commanding a 26.9 percent share. Apple ranked second on 18.5 percent, followed by LG (17.5 percent), Motorola (10.4 percent) and HTC (5.9 percent).