Telecom & Wireless

Samsung Leads Global Smartphone Sales

Despite a 60% drop in profits and an eroding global market share, Samsung was able to hold onto its place as the number one mobile phone company in the world during the third quarter. The distance of the Samsung lead is so great that it might take years for another manufacturer to catch it.

Global mobile phone sales rose 8% in the third quarter to 460 million.

According to a major research firm:

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Samsung dipped 15 percent annually and shipped 101.7 million mobile phones worldwide, capturing 22 percent marketshare in Q3 2014. Samsung’s growth rate has slowed recently due to tougher competition from Chinese vendors, but Samsung maintains a good product portfolio and it is still shipping more mobile phones worldwide than Apple and Nokia combined. Nokia shipped 52.2 million mobile phones worldwide for 11 percent share in Q3 2014. Nokia, now owned by Microsoft, continues to face intense rivalry from Apple and dozens of Android vendors across all price-bands.

Smartphones account for seven out of 10 cell phones sold, according to Strategic Analytics.

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Even though Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has a new product that is expected to recharge its sales growth:

Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Apple shipped 39.3 million iPhones worldwide in Q3 2014, up from 33.8 million a year earlier. We note Apple’s annual growth rate has almost halved from 26 percent in Q3 2013 to 16 percent in Q3 2014. Apple is finding it harder to achieve growth this year, despite a successful recent launch of the new iPhone 6 portfolio. LG had a strong quarter, capturing 5 percent share of the global mobile phone market, reaching its highest level since the third quarter of 2011. LG is performing well in the US and Europe, but we caution that China and India remain major weak-spots that the vendor still needs to address.”

As a measure of the challenge Apple faces, a Chinese company took 5% of the total market. Xiaomi sold 18 million phones in the third quarter, up from 5.2 million in the same period a year ago. Most of its phones are sold in its home market.

Samsung may be the top manufacturer in the world, and Apple may have the premier brand, but neither fared particularly well in the most recent quarter.

Global Mobile Phone Vendor Shipments (Millions of Units) Q3 ’13 Q3 ’14
Samsung 120.1 101.7
Nokia (Microsoft) 64.6 52.2
Apple 33.8 39.3
LG 18.3 21.8
Xiaomi 5.2 18.0
Others 185.2 226.5
Total 427.2 459.5
Global Mobile Phone Vendor Marketshare (%) Q3 ’13 Q3 ’14
Samsung 28.1% 22.1%
Nokia (Microsoft) 15.1% 11.4%
Apple 7.9% 8.6%
LG 4.3% 4.7%
Xiaomi 1.2% 3.9%
Others 43.4% 49.3%
Total 100.0% 100.0%
Total Growth: Year-Over-Year (%) 9.4% 7.6%
Source: Strategy Analytics

Methodology: The term “mobile phone” is defined as smartphones and feature phones combined.

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