Smartphone shipments passed 1B in 2013 — IDC

Smartphone shipments passed 1B in 2013 — IDC

28 JAN 2014

More than one billion smartphones were shipped in 2013, the first time the milestone has been reached, according to IDC.

The analyst firm found that 1.004 billion smartphones were shipped last year, a 38.4 per cent increase on 2012’s 725.3 million units, and more than double the 494.4 million smartphones shipped in 2011.

Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC, said the doubling of smartphone volume in the space of two years “demonstrates strong end-user demand and vendor strategies to highlight smartphones”.

Smartphones made up more than half of all mobile phone shipments for the first time, accounting for 55.1 per cent of the total. The proportion of smartphones sold in 2012 was 41.7 per cent.

This means the total number of mobile phones shipped during the year was 1.822 billion units, a 4.8 per cent increase from 2012. Nearly half a billion (488.4 million) mobile phones were shipped in Q4 2013 alone.

Ryan Reith, programme director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, said low device costs have been the most important factor in driving smartphone volumes, with sub-$150 smartphones due to make up the majority of smartphone shipments in China and India.

Samsung remained significantly ahead in terms of smartphone shipments in 2013, with 313.9 million units shipped, giving it a 31.3 per cent market share, 1 per cent higher than in 2012. However, its market share fell slightly in Q4 compared to the previous quarter.

During the fourth quarter, 284.4 million smartphones were shipped globally, up 24.2 per cent from the 229 million units shipped in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Apple shipped 153.4 million iPhones, giving it a 15.4 market share, which was down from 18.7 per cent in 2012. However, the company posted record smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter, driven by the iPhone 5S and 5C.

Huawei held third place with a much smaller share of 4.9 per cent with 48.8 million smartphones shipped, with LG and Lenovo close behind on 47.7 million and 45.5 million shipments respectively.

In terms of total mobile phone sales, Samsung again led the way with 112 million devices shipped in the fourth quarter of 2013, giving it a 22.9 per cent market share. Nokia was in second spot with 63.4 million units, giving it a 13 per cent market share, with Apple in third (51 million) and LG in fourth (18.5 million).

While IDC ranked Huawei in fifth place with 17.9 million units shipped, Strategy Analytics actually put TCL-Alcatel in fifth spot with 18.3 million units, the first time the Chinese-based vendor has featured in the top five.

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Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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