Gartner says cheaper smartphones are increasing adoption as Samsung and Android remain dominant
Worldwide sales of smartphones have exceeded those of feature phones for the first time, with almost 50 percent more high-end devices sold during the second quarter of 2013 as the previous three month period, according to Gartner.
The firm says smartphone sales increased by 46.5 percent to 225 million units, accounting for 51.7 percent of the 435 million mobile phones shifted by all manufacturers during the period.
All regions reported growth, with the highest rates reported in Asia-Pacific, which witnessed a 74.1 percent increase.
Samsung on top
Samsung remains the largest manufacturer of smartphones, increasing its share of the market from 29.7 percent last year to 31.7 percent thanks to sales of 71.38 million. This kept it comfortably ahead of nearest challenger Apple, which sold 31.9 million smartphones, more than it did during the same period last year, but not enough to prevent its share falling from 18.8 percent to 14.2 percent.
LG’s recent success continued as it secured third place with a 5.1 percent share and 11.473m units, while Chinese manufacturer Lenovo’s success in its homeland ensured a 4.7 percent share to keep it head of its compatriots at ZTE in fifth.
Samsung is also the leading mobile phone manufacturer if feature phones are included, with 107.526 million units and 24 percent of the market, ahead of Nokia in second place with 60.953 million phones and 14 percent. Apple, which only sells smartphones, achieved third place, with LTE fourth and fifth respectively.
The success of Samsung and other Android manufacturers has strengthend the platform’s dominance on the smartphone market even further, increasing its share from 64.2 percent last year to 79 percent.
Apple’s iOS was a distant second with 14.2 percent, but BlackBerry’s woes continued as Windows Phone beat it into third place, intensifying the gloom surrounding the Canadian manufacturer, which is considering a sale.
“While Microsoft has managed to increase share and volume in the quarter, Microsoft should continue to focus on growing interest from app developers to help grow its appeal among users,” said Anshul Gupta principal research analyst at Gartner.
Gartner has predicted that sales of smartphones will continue to grow as the cost of handsets become cheaper, increasing the pressure on manufacturers to target the mid-range section of the market.
Windows Phone and Nokia have enjoyed success in this area in recent months, with a 112.7 percent increase in sales of Nokia Lumia handsets offsetting the decline in purchases of the Finnish manufacturer’s feature phones.
However increased competition from Android manufacturers, especially Chinese and regional companies, is set to present a significant challenge in the coming months, while Gartner has also warned that Samsung to step up its game if it is to continue to remain on top.
“Innovation cannot be limited to the high end,” it said.
“With second quarter of 2013 sales broadly on track, we see little need to adjust our expectations for worldwide mobile phone sales forecast to total 1.82 billion units this year,” said Gupta. “Flagship devices brought to market in time for the holidays, and the continued price reduction of smartphones will drive consumer adoption in the second half of the year.”
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