Smartphone shipments reached over one billion units for the first time ever as 2013 drew to a close.
IDC's smartphone tracker for Q4 2013 revealed that manufacturers sold 38.4% more smartphone devices in 2013, up from 725.3 million in 2013. Worldwide mobile phone sales reached 1.82 billion, with 55.1% smartphones.
Samsung dominated the landscape again in terms of smartphone shipments and mobile phone shipments, accounting for 31.3% and 24.5% of 2013 market share respectively. The Korean manufacturer's shipment volumes jumped almost a hundred million to 313.9 million, representing a 42.9% year-over-year change. Huawei, LG and Lenovo saw market share steadily increase. LG's improving portfolio generated a 81.1% year-over-year increase in smartphone shipmen, while Lenovo saw the largest year-over-year jump of 91.7%. BlackBerry did not figure on the top five list.
In terms of Q4, Samsung kept the lion's share of the market at 28.8%, dropping slightly despite shipping 16 million more smartphones than the same time last year. Apple's market share declined, but it cemented its place as second most popular smartphone manufacturer worldwide after the release of two new smartphones in September. Huawei, Lenovo and LG make up the Q4 top five after increasing market share and shipment volumes. In general, Q4 saw a 0.9% increase in shipped units compared to Q4 2012, although the 488.4 million figure was 2.8% lower than IDC's forecast of 502.4 million.
IDC’s mobile phone research manager, Ramon Llamas, said: ‘The sheer volume and strong growth attest to the smartphone's continued popularity in 2013. Total smartphone shipments reached 494.4 million units worldwide in 2011, and doubling that volume in just two years demonstrates strong end-user demand and vendor strategies to highlight smartphones.
Program director with IDC’s worldwide quarterly mobile phone tracker, Ryan Reith, added: ‘Among the top trends driving smartphone growth are large screen devices and low cost. Of the two, I have to say that low cost is the key difference maker. Cheap devices are not the attractive segment that normally grabs headlines, but IDC data shows this is the portion of the market that is driving volume. Markets like China and India are quickly moving toward a point where sub-$150 smartphones are the majority of shipments, bringing a solid computing experience to the hands of many.’