Smartphone shipments will fall this quarter, says TrendForce

Smartphone shipments will fall this quarter, says TrendForce

Summary: Smartphone shipments will fall by 5 percent compared with the end of last year, when suppliers pushed to capitalise on the holiday selling season. But TrendForce predicts quarterly growth for the rest of this year…

TOPICS: Smartphones

TrendForce has predicted that shipments -- but not necessarily sales -- of smartphones will slide by 5.1 percent this quarter, due to "inventory-related pressures". TrendForce analyst Wilson Miao reckons that smartphone manufacturers ramped up shipments for the holiday quarter, and global numbers were also boosted by shipments of new Apple iPhones. Unsold stock may affect shipments in this year's first quarter.

This isn't a disaster for the smartphone market, and TrendForce is predicting that shipments will grow in each of this year's final three quarters. However, it may signal that the category is becoming more like other consumer products in having a seasonal sales pattern, rather than growing quarter on quarter.

TrendForce says in a statement that worldwide smartphone shipments grew by 32.2 percent to 265 million units in 2013Q4 compared with the same quarter last year. For the whole of 2013, they grew by an estimated 33.5 percent to approximately 945 million units.


It adds that Q4 sales of Apple iPhones "were remarkably impressive due to the company's decision last quarter to promote the iPhone 5S in China". TrendForce thinks Apple's Q4 shipments will be around 50 million units, which represents a growth of 47.8 percent quarter-on-quarter and 11.2 percent year-on-year.


This would give Apple a worldwide market share of 19 percent in the quarter. This is some way behind Samsung's 30 percent, but only 38 percent of Samsung's 80 million smartphone shipments were high-end models.

TrendForce also thinks that two "dark horses" did well, with both Sony and LG taking 4 percent of the global market in Q4. Sony benefited from its success in Japan, where it has achieved a 20 percent market share, while LG benefited from shipments of Google Nexus smartphones.

Nokia doesn't get a mention. By implication, its Q4 smartphone shipments were lower than the local Chinese suppliers Xiaomi and Gionee, which are credited with 3 percent each.

Topic: Smartphones

Jack Schofield

About Jack Schofield

Jack Schofield spent the 1970s editing photography magazines before becoming editor of an early UK computer magazine, Practical Computing. In 1983, he started writing a weekly computer column for the Guardian, and joined the staff to launch the newspaper's weekly computer supplement in 1985. This section launched the Guardian’s first website and, in 2001, its first real blog. When the printed section was dropped after 25 years and a couple of reincarnations, he felt it was a time for a change....

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Same Old Same Old

    If you have fears for your 4th quarter and yearly numbers, find a way to pull next year first quarter sales in. Then announce a first quarter dip. Just the first mind you.
    Gotta keep them there skittish stock holders in the saddle.

  • Heh

    Does this mean we're in the post phone era? :)
  • The smartphone market is really two markets

    There are open source and non-open source markets. The iPhone and Windows phones are unique and Android is a commodity. The commodity market may be still growing, but competition is eroding prices and margins rapidly. The Android market will be a bloodbath in 2014 and beyond as commodity style competition drives prices down and even drives some players out of the business. Because of the low cost of entry and little differentiation between brands, new lower cost manufactures may jump into the market too, further eroding prices and margins. Samsung and Motorola with their multi-billion dollar ad spending, will be the big losers.
    Gary Doan