Taiwan’s HTC Corp (宏達電) is no longer among the world’s top five smartphone vendors following a drop in sales last quarter, surpassed by Huawei Technologies Co (華為) of China and Sony Mobile Communications International AB of Japan, according to a US-based research firm.
Huawei jumped to the third spot with a 4.9 percent share of the market in the fourth quarter of last year, trailed by Sony Mobile with 4.5 percent and China’s ZTE Corp (中興) with a 4.3 percent market share, the International Data Corp (IDC) reported on Jan. 24.
South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co remained the top player with a 29 percent market share, while second-placed Apple Inc extended its share to 21.8 percent thanks to record iPhone shipments in the fourth quarter of last year, IDC said.
The research firm did not disclose fourth-quarter figures for HTC, which ranked fifth with a 4 percent market share in the third quarter.
The worldwide smartphone market grew 36.4 percent from a year ago to 219.4 million units in the fourth quarter, which represented 45.5 percent of all mobile phone shipments, the highest percentage ever, IDC said.
“The high-growth smartphone market, though dominated by Samsung and Apple, still presents ample opportunities for challengers,” IDC’s senior research analyst Kevin Restivo said. “Vendors with unique market advantages, such as lower-cost devices, can rapidly gain market shares, especially in emerging markets.”
For last year as a whole, HTC was ranked as the world’s No. 4 smartphone producer, with shipments of 32.6 million units and a 4.6 percent market share, though both were down sharply from the 43.6 million units and 8.8 percent share in 2011, the report said.
Samsung and Apple retained their positions as the top two vendors, taking a 30.3 percent and a 19.1 percent share of the market respectively, with Finnish handset maker Nokia Oyj ranking third with a 4.9 percent market share, the report showed.