Android devices still reign supreme despite recent high-profile Apple device launches
The number of smartphones sold across the world over the past three months increased by nearly a quarter as demand for the latest devices led to a surge in shipments.
Research from analyst firm IDC found that 327.6 million units were shipped during the third quarter of 2014, 25.2 percent more than the 261.7 million sold during the same quarter last year and an 8.7 percent increase from the last three months, which saw 301.3 million units shipped.
Demand was particularly strong in China, where domestic supplier Xiaomi benefitted from strong sales to become the world’s third largest smartphone manufacturer behind Samsung and Apple.
The Beijing-based company, which was only formed four years ago, leapt into the top five manufacturers list for the first time thanks to shipments of 17.3 million units (such as the 2A, pictured left) in the past quarter, placing it ahead of Lenovo and LG.
This was a 211.3 percent increase on the same period from last year, giving the company 5.3 percent of the global market share
Samsung topped the list with 78.1 million units shipped in the last three months, giving it 23.8 percent of the global market, ahead of Apple, which shipped 39.3 million units for 12.0 percent market share.
This indicates a 8.2 percent fall for Samsung, which had struggled with poor sales figures over the past three months, against the previous year, but represented a 16.1 percent rise for Apple, which has benefitted from high consumer demand following the release of several new high-profile mobile devices.
“Despite rumours of a slowing market, smartphone shipments continue to see record-setting volumes,” said Ryan Reith, program director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
“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 percent collectively. In these markets, smartphone price points are making mobile computing possible where we once expected feature phones to remain dominant.”
Elsewhere, the latest quarterly research from industry observers Kantar Worldpanel revealed that Android devices remain the most popular in Europe despite Apple’s recent launches.
Overall, Android currently holds 73.9 percent of the European market, with Apple in second with 15.4 percent, and Windows in third with 9.2 percent of the market.
In the UK, the launch of Apple’s new devices produced a 1.7 percent increase in market share compared to last year to hit 31 percent, although this was still significantly behind Android, which held 58.2 percent, a 2.7 percent increase over the last three months.
Windows Phone lost out on 0.4 percent of the UK market share over the past three months, but the big loser was the group of “other” operating systems, such as BlackBerry and Tizen, which lost 4 percent during the quarter to register a total market share of just 1.2 percent
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