Samsung’s smartphone market share saw its first decline in four years as around 285 million smartphones were shipped during the first quarter of 2014, according to Strategy Analytics.
Despite a 33 per cent year-on-year increase in total smartphone shipments, both Samsung and Apple lost traction during the period. While third-placed Huawei’s market share remained steady, Lenovo made gains in fourth place.
Samsung shipped 89.0 million smartphones during Q1 2014 to secure a 31.2 per cent market share, a slight drop from 32.4 per cent a year earlier, when it shipped 69.4 million units.
According to Strategy Analytics, this is the first time Samsung has seen a year-on-year market share loss in the smartphone segment since Q4 2009.
Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said Apple is providing stiff competition for Samsung at the high-end, while Huawei and other Chinese brands are having an impact at the low end.
Apple shipped 43.7 million iPhones in the most recent quarter, a 17 per cent increase from the 37.4 million shipped in Q1 2013. Despite the volume growth, it secured a 15.3 per cent market share for the quarter, down from 17.5 per cent a year earlier.
“Apple remains strong in the premium smartphone segment, but a lack of presence in the entry-level category continues to cost it lost volumes in fast-growing emerging markets such as Latin America,” said Mawston.
The combined market share of Apple and Samsung fell from around 50 per cent in the first quarter of 2013 to 46.5 per cent in the most recent quarter.
Huawei remained on 4.7 per cent market share in the first quarter, with 13.4 million devices shipped, up from 10 million a year earlier, with the company seeing rapid growth in Europe in particular.
Lenovo shipped 13.3 million units, compared with 8.4 million in Q1 2013, to grow its market share from 3.9 per cent a year ago to 4.7 per cent. The company saw growth outside China in markets such as Russia.
And with Lenovo in the process of acquiring Motorola Mobility from Google, its competitive position could improve further in the coming months.
Ken Hyers, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, noted that smartphone growth varied in different regions with strong demand in Asia but a slowdown in North America, due to “changes in the operator subsidy mix.”