The tables have turned on analysts who forecast the slowdown in shipments of smartphones during this past quarter. In fact, the growth was huge, according to The International Data Corporation, which tallied worldwide shipments of smartphones in the third quarter.
The research group found a 25.2% increase in shipments on a global scale, with growing competition from suppliers in Asia-Pacific. Samsung and Apple maintained the top two spots respectively — Samsung having shipped 78.3 million smartphones, and Apple 39.3 million, bolstered by its recent launch of its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. But Samsung’s figures actually mark a downturn in sales. The company’s shipments were down from 85 million in Q3 2013.
VISUAL CONTEXT: TOP 5 SMARTPHONE VENDORS IN Q3
Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, stated:
Despite rumors of a slowing market, smartphone shipments continue to see record-setting volumes. We’ve finally reached a point where most developed markets are experiencing single-digit growth while emerging markets are still growing at more than 30% collectively. In these markets, smartphone price points are making mobile computing possible where we once expected feature phones to remain dominant. This is great news for overall volumes, but the challenge has now become how to make money on devices that are quickly becoming commodity products. Outside of Apple, many are struggling to do this.
Xiaomi — the China-based global phone maker — jumped to the third sales spot as Lenovo and LG also posted significant growth, tying for fourth. Vendors shipped a total of 327.6 million smartphones during Q3, and the 25.2% growth figure is compared to the 261.7 million units shipped in the same quarter of 2013. The IDC also tallied 8.7% sequential growth above the 301.3 million smartphones shipped in the second quarter of 2014.
As the Chinese and Indian markets continue their upward pace of smartphone sales — boosted by more mid-range, low-cost smartphones hitting shelves — there could be continued growth on the part of Asia-Pacific vendors. Those vendors have yet to explore the European markets. Overall, it has become clear that just when many thought the global smartphone game had been called, there is still room for surprising competition and growth.