Samsung and Apple see their share of the smartphone market narrow in Q2

FRAGMENTED MARKET::Intense competition in the saturated smartphone market meant other players like LG and Lenovo can share in a piece of the cake, IDC said

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 - Page 13

Samsung Electronics Co and Apple Inc, the world’s largest and second-largest smartphone vendors, saw their market shares narrow last quarter amid intense competition in the saturated smartphone market, a survey by International Data Corp (IDC) showed.

Last quarter, Samsung shipped 72.4 million smartphones for a market share of 30.4 percent, while Apple shipped 31.2 million for a market share of 13.1 percent, the survey by the US-based research firm showed.

On an annual basis, Samsung’s second-quarter shipments increased 43.9 percent from 50.3 million units, while Apple’s shipments grew 20 percent from 26 million units, IDC said.

Yet Samsung’s second-quarter global market share dropped by 1.8 percentage points from the 32.2 percent it seized during the April-to-June period of last year, while Apple’s market share fell 3.5 percentage points from 16.6 percent the previous year, IDC said.

“The smartphone market is still a rising tide that’s lifting many ships,” IDC senior research analyst Kevin Restivo wrote in a statement.

“Though Samsung and Apple are the dominant players, the market is as fragmented as ever. There is ample opportunity for smartphone vendors with differentiated offerings,” he said.

South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc was the third-largest vendor on the list in the second quarter, followed by China’s Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) and ZTE Corp (中興), with market shares of 5.1 percent, 4.7 percent and 4.2 percent respectively, up from 3.7 percent, 3.1 percent and 4.1 percent the previous year.

LG increased its smartphone shipments by 108.6 percent to 12.1 million units last quarter from 5.8 million units the previous year, while Lenovo’s smartphone shipments increased by 130.6 percent to 11.3 million units during the April-to-June period from 4.9 million units. ZTE improved its second-quarter shipments by 57.8 percent to 10.1 million units from 6.4 million units, IDC said.

“While Samsung and Apple accounted for [a] significant share of the overall market, they were not the only vendors active in the high end of the market,” IDC analyst Ramon Llamas wrote in the report.

IDC said LG reaped the rewards of its steady stream of Android-powered smartphone releases last quarter, adding that such a feat is achievable for very few Android vendors.

While indicating the Nexus 4 and the Optimus G Pro were the drivers of LG’s smartphone shipments, IDC attributed Lenovo’s return to the world’s top 5 vendors to its popular LePhone smartphone series and support from Chinese telecoms.

In total, vendors shipped 237.9 million smartphones globally last quarter, up 52.3 percent from 156.2 million units the previous year and 10.03 percent from 216.2 million the previous quarter.