Juniper Research estimated that the number of smartphones shipped last year reached 980 million units, 280 million in the fourth quarter alone. Of that figure, Samsung managed to capture almost a third, having moved more than 300 million smartphones in a single year, while growing at a rate of 40%. However, for the first time the Korean giant witnessed a quarterly fall in shipments and market share to just over 81 million in Q4 2013.
Meanwhile, Apple posted a record quarter of 51 million iPhone sales for a quarter-on-quarter growth of 51% and year-on-year growth of 7%. Here are the numbers for few other vendors:
- Nokia’s handset sales dropped by nearly 30% in Q4 2013, with sales of the flagship Lumia range falling to 8.2 million in Q4 compared to 8.8 million in Q3 2013. The Finnish company still managed to sell 30 million Lumia smartphones, up from 13 million in 2012.
- LG posted another record quarter with smartphone sales exceeding 13 million units for the first time, representing an increase of over 50% compared to Q4 2012. However, increased marketing costs had their toll on the bottom line.
- When it comes to Chinese vendors Lenovo, Huawei and ZTE, all of them managed to improve their smartphone market share y-o-y, though they still face a challenge when competing against premium brands. These three vendors together are estimated to have shipped over 40 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Finally, Juniper said that going forward, the growth will come from emerging markets where vendors will have to adopt a specialized, more local, approach; or find a local partner to succeed. Consequently it will come at the cost of much lower margins…