The smartphone market really heated up in the second quarter as Samsung widened its lead over Apple and became the most profitable handset vendor in the world, but there was also some drama in the overall mobile handset market. According to market research firm IDC, global mobile phone shipments grew 6% on-year in Q2 2013 to an astounding 432.1 million units. As impressive as that figure is though, it represents only a marginal improvement over the first quarter’s 428.8 million units.
Samsung was the top mobile handset vendor in the world by a huge margin according to IDC’s data. The South Korea-based giant shipped an estimated 113.4 million cell phones worldwide in the second quarter to take 26.2% of the global market, up from 23.9% in the same quarter last year. Nokia retained the No.2 spot, but it handset shipments dropped 27% to 61.1 million units, good for a 14.1% share of the market, according to IDC.
Apple sold 31.2 million iPhones last quarter and that was apparently good for 7.2% of the mobile handset market in Q2, up from Apple’s 6.4% market share in Q2 2012. IDC makes no distinction between end-user sales and channel sales in its data.
LG and ZTE rounded out the top-5 according to IDC, with shipments totaling 16.2 million units (3.7% market share) and 15 million units (3.5% market share), respectively.
Rival firm Strategy Analytics reported similar results on Thursday evening, however its figures are far lower than IDC’s. According to the firm’s data, global mobile handset shipments totaled 386 million units in the second quarter this year, up 4% from the same period in 2012.
Strategy Analytics estimates that Samsung shipped 107 million mobile phones in the second quarter, good for 27.7% of the global market; Nokia shipped 61.1 million phones and its market share plummeted to 15.8% last quarter from 22.5% in Q2 last year; Apple’s share improved to 8.1% in Q2 2013 from 7% in the same quarter last year thanks to the 31.2 million iPhones it sold; and LG and ZTE shipped 17.8 million and 17.6 million handsets, respectively, each good for about 4.6% of the global market.
“Global mobile phone shipments reached 386.0 million units in Q2 2013, rising 4 percent from 371.5 million in Q2 2012,” Strategy Analytics’ Neil Shah said. “This was the mobile phone industry’s fastest growth rate since the second quarter of 2012. Strong demand for entry-level Android devices in Asia and Latin America drove much of the growth. Samsung continued to dominate, shipping 107.0 million mobile phones worldwide and capturing a solid 28 percent marketshare to solidify its first-place lead.”
“Apple grew 20 percent annually and shipped 31.2 million iPhones worldwide in Q2 2013. Apple’s global mobile phone marketshare inched up slightly to 8 percent, from 7 percent a year earlier,” Shah’s colleague Woody Oh added. “Apple’s share of the mobile phone market is struggling to break through the 10 percent ceiling into double figures, and it will only be able to achieve this on a sustainable basis if it adds new iPhone models at lower price-points or with bigger screens in the future.”