Android accounts for 74 percent of smartphones sold in Q1; Samsung reigns

According to the latest round of Gartner figures, Samsung remains on top for global smartphone sales, while Android steals 74 percent of the market.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Gartner has released its figures for Q1 sales for mobile handsets, and says that Android is preferred by the majority of smartphone users, with Samsung retaining top position in global marketshare.

The research agency says that global mobile phone shipments reached almost 426 million units in the first quarter of 2013, which is only a marginal increase year-on-year of 0.7 percent. According to Gartner, worldwide smartphone sales totaled 210 million units in Q1 2013, up 42.9 percent based on the same quarter last year.

Smartphone sales accounted for 49.3 percent of sales of mobile phones worldwide in the first quarter, up 34.8 percent year-on-year. However, sales of feature phones also contracted 21.8 percent in Q1 2013. 

Only the Asia/Pacific region contributed to mobile phone sales across the globe, with a 6.4 percent increase year-on-year.


"More than 226 million mobile phones were sold to end users in Asia/Pacific in the first quarter of 2013, which helped the region increase its share of global mobile phones to 53.1 percent year-on-year," said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner. "In addition, China saw its mobile phone sales increase 7.5 percent in the first quarter of 2013, and its sales represented 25.7 percent of global mobile phone sales, up nearly 2 percentage points year-on-year."

In terms of smartphone sales, Samsung still reigns, growing 13 percent in Q1 2013. The electronics maker's global smartphone marketshare reached 30.8 percent, whereas the closest rival in the race, Apple, is estimated to have secured 18.2 percent of global marketshare, a drop of 4.3 percentage points. Samsung's sales to end users accounted for 64.7 million units, and Apple's shipments are estimated to be roughly 38.3 million in Q1 2013. Gartner believes that with unit sales close to 7 million for the iPad and iPhone maker in China alone, the lower price of the iPhone 4 has made the Asian country a key revenue generator for the tech giant.

However, as no new products are due to be rolled out until the fall, the next quarter may prove to be less successful. 

As Nokia struggled to compete with its rivals, the handset maker's position has dropped further, sliding to tenth place from eighth in Q4 2012.


 In terms of operating systems, Android continues to race ahead of rival systems, claiming 74.4 percent of global marketshare. 156.1 million smartphones running Google's operating system were sold in the first quarter, whereas Apple's iOS claimed an 18.2 percent slice of the market with iPhone sales. 


"There are two clear leaders in the OS market and Android's dominance in the OS market is unshakable," Gupta commented. "With new OSs coming to market such as Tizen, Firefox and Jolla we expect some market share to be eroded, but not enough to question Android's volume leadership."

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