Tue, Apr 22, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Smartphone shipment growth exceeds expectations

Staff writer, with CNA

Global shipments of smartphones showed better-than-expected growth in the first quarter of the year on demand from China and other emerging markets, according to market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技).

Smartphone shipments grew 1.13 percent to 266.9 million during the first quarter from the final quarter of last year, TrendForce said in a research report released on Thursday, as Chinese smartphone makers increased production of 4G-capable models.

Samsung Electronics Co claimed first place with a worldwide market share of 34.9 percent, thanks to growing shipments of its low to mid-ranged models, Trendforce said.

Apple Inc saw a noticeable decline to a 13.6 percent market share, leaving it in second place. Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) and Motorola Mobility both took 7.5 percent, Huawei Technologies Co (華為) took 5.2 percent, while LG Electronics Co took 4.4 percent over the period, the report said.

Chinese smartphone makers performed better than expected against traditionally stronger global brands, with several companies such as Huawei and Xiaomi Corp (小米) seeing quarterly growth of more than 20 percent, TrendForce researcher Avril Wu (吳雅婷) said.

Another noteworthy company in the quarter was Coolpad (酷派), the first Chinese brand to enter the frequency division duplex-long -term evolution (FDD-LTE) fourth-generation (4G) smartphone market, Wu said.

The company is expected to see rising quarterly shipments throughout this year that give it an upper hand in the global market amid the rapidly expanding 4G industry, she added.

Global smartphone shipments could continue to benefit from increasing demand worldwide, the report said, predicting 6.7 percent quarterly growth to 284.5 million shipments in the second quarter.

Shipments from China are projected to exceed the industry average again in the second quarter at a growth rate of 13.76 percent, it added.

Meanwhile, Asustek Computer Inc’s (華碩) low-cost ZenFone models have become the star products at the Spring Computer Fair in Taipei, drawing more than 1,000 pre-orders on each day of the weekend.

The new ZenFone models were welcomed by local consumers, who plan to buy them as gifts for Mother’s Day, the Taiwanese PC maker said on Sunday. The ZenFone line starts at NT$4,990 (US$166) for a 5-inch model, with shipments scheduled to begin by the end of this month.

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