Smartphones out-ship feature phones for the first time ever

By Nir Kenner on
apple, samsung, idc, smartphone, market share, shipments

The first quarter of 2013 marks the first time smartphones out-ship feature phones, according to a recent report from market research firm IDC. The table below shows numbers from small and big smartphone manufacturers which, when combined, make up for the majority of devices in terms of total shipments. Specifically, as many as 418.6 million phones were collectively shipped during the quarter, out of which 216.2 million were smartphones.

A few highlights from the press release include Samsung maintaining the position it held at the end of 2012 as the undisputed leader in the worldwide cell phone market. By the end of 1Q13, when taking both smartphones and feature phones into account, Samsung shipped more units than the next four vendors combined.

Top Five Smartphone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, 2013 Q1 (Units in Millions)

Vendor 1Q13 unit shipments 1Q13 market share 1Q12 unit shipments 1Q12 market share Change
Samsung 70.7 32.7% 44.0 28.8% 60.7%
Apple 37.4 17.3% 35.1 23.0% 6.6%
LG 10.3 4.8% 4.9 3.2% 110.2%
Huawei 9.9 4.6% 5.1 3.3% 94.1%
ZTE 9.1 4.2% 6.1 4.0% 49.2%
Others 78.8 36.4% 57.5 37.7% 37.0%
Total 216.2 100.0% 152.7 100.0% 41.6%

Top Five Total Mobile Phone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, 2013 Q1 (Units in Millions)

Vendor 1Q13 unit shipments 1Q13 market share 1Q12 unit shipments 1Q12 market share Change
Samsung 115.0 27.5% 93.6 23.3% 22.9%
Nokia 61.9 14.8% 82.7 20.6% -25.1%
Apple 37.4 8.9% 35.1 8.7% 6.6%
LG 15.4 3.7% 13.7 3.4% 12.4%
ZTE 13.5 3.2% 16.2 4.0% -16.5%
Others 175.4 41.9% 161.1 40.0% 8.9%
Total 418.6 100.0% 402.4 100.0% 4.0%

Apple's smartphone shipment volume hit a new first-quarter high thanks in part to the iPhone 5, growing 6.6% year over year. The company has held onto the second spot in the rankings for the past five quarters.

Meanwhile, LG returned to the to the top five list after a short absence, reaching record-high shipments during the last quarter. The Nexus 4 was largely accountable for the surge in LG's bump in smartphone shipment volumes, but other 3G and LTE devices including the Optimus G series also contributed to its success. 

Huawei also showed significant improvement from where it was a year ago, when it offered a handful of Ascend smartphones and had very little presence outside the Asia/Pacific region. The company nearly doubled its unit shipments to other regions this past quarter when compared to 1Q12.

As for ZTE's 1Q13 performance, it continued the trend established last year, with a strong showing in Asia/Pacific and North America, but a small presence in EMEA and Latin America despite its previous success with low-end feature phones there. In China, where increasing price pressure has challenged vendors to grow profitably, IDC notes that ZTE will emphasize its higher-price products. In addition, ZTE will be among the first companies to launch a Firefox-powered smartphone this year, such as these two we covered recently.

Android image via

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