Smartphone sales beat forecasts

Global smartphone shipments have declined since last quarter – but have grown by 28.6% compared to the same time last year.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 281.5 million smartphones worldwide.

This was up 28.6% from the 218.8 million units in 1Q13 but down -2.8% from the 289.6 million units shipped in 4Q13.

The results beat IDC’s forecast of 267.2 million units for the first quarter of 2014 by 5.3%.

“The first quarter of the year typically brings sequential retrenchment from the holiday spending of the previous quarter,” said Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team.

“The small difference between the two quarters points to sustained strong demand, driven by emerging markets, low-cost devices, and the proliferation of 4G networks.”

“If this is how we start the year, then we can look forward to another record-breaking quarter at the end of the year,” he said.

IDC expects total smartphone shipment volumes to reach 1.2 billion units in 2014, up 19.3% year over year from the 1.0 billion units shipped in 2013. This would mark a slowdown from the 39.2% growth seen in 2013.

Vendor performance

Samsung retained its top spot amongst smartphone vendors in the past quarter, having shipped more smartphones than the next four vendors combined.

Apple reached a new first quarter record, breaching the 40 million unit mark, while Huawei kept its third place position worldwide, beating out Lenovo by fewer than a million units.

Lenovo posted the largest year-over-year increase among the leading vendors – 63.3% – while LG continued as the number five vendor worldwide and its 12.3 million units were enough to stave off multiple Chinese vendors, including Coolpad, Xiaomi, and ZTE.

Vendor 1Q13 Shipments
1Q13 Market Share 1Q14 Shipments 1Q14 Market Share YoY change
Samsung 69.7 31.9% 85.0 30.2% 22.0%
Apple 37.4 17.1% 43.7 15.5% 16.8%
Huawei 9.3 4.3% 13.7 4.9% 47.3%
Lenovo 7.9 3.6% 12.9 4.6% 63.3%
LG 10.3 4.7% 12.3 4.4% 19.4%
Others 84.2 38.5% 113.9 40.5% 35.2%
Total 218.8 100.0% 281.5 100.0% 28.6%

All mobile phones

In the global mobile phone market (inclusive of smartphones), vendors shipped 448.6 million units, up 3.9% from the 431.8 million units shipped 1Q13 but down -9.0% from the 492.8 million units shipped in 4Q13.

This is 0.6% lower than the 451.3 million units IDC had forecast for the quarter.

Samsung was once again the most dominant vendor, with 24.3% of the total mobile phone market share, followed by Nokia (11.3%), Apple (9.7%), LG ( 3.6%) and Huawei (3.2%).

Smartphones accounted for 62.7% of all mobile phone shipments in 1Q14, up from the 50.7% of all mobile phone shipments in 1Q13.

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Smartphone sales beat forecasts