While most market research firms will want to wait for Apple to post iPhone numbers on Tuesday before releasing their Q1 smartphone market share estimates, China-based firm TrendForce is confident enough in its sources that it went live with its numbers on Monday morning. While some analysts think iPhone sales during the March quarter came in as low as 33-34 million units, TrendForce’s chip division DRAMeXchange suggests Apple shipped 37.5 million iPhones in the first quarter this year. The figure would represent only modest growth compared to the 35.1 million iPhones Apple sold in the same quarter last year, but investors might be happy with any growth from Apple in light of the ridiculous estimates we’ve seen leading up to the company’s earnings report.
In terms of market share, TrendForce says Apple’s iPhone lineup accounted for 17.3% of the worldwide market in the first quarter this year, down 1.2% sequentially. Again, any decline is bad news for Apple but it certainly could be worse.
Meanwhile on the other side of the world, Apple’s top rival Samsung shipped 65 million smartphones during the first quarter, according to the research firm. That massive figure is good for nearly 30% of the global smartphone market by TrendForce’s count, which would be about flat compared to the same quarter last year.
Samsung pre-announced Q1 earnings last week and said that it took in about $7.7 billion in profit — up 50% over the year-ago quarter — on sales totaling $45.9 billion.
Elsewhere in the smartphone market, TrendForce says Nokia had a 4.3% share in Q1, down 0.9%, while HTC topped Nokia but slid three-tenths of a point to 4.4% and Sony gained three-tenths of a point to take 3.8% of worldwide smartphone shipments.