China drives record quarter for smartphones

The global smartphone market continues to be strong, especially in China.
Written by Tyler Falk, Contributor on

The smartphone market continues to see strong growth globally, with China one of the fastest growing markets.

In the third quarter of 2013, the worldwide smartphone market grew 38.8 percent compared to 3Q 2012, according to a new report from the International Data Corporation. In addition to strong growth, the latest quarter set a new record for total shipments with vendors shipping 258.4 million smartphones.

With costs falling for smartphones, China is driving much of the recent growth. Last quarter, China alone accounted for about one-third of smartphone shipments. And it's benefitting Chinese mobile companies in the race for third in the smartphone market.

"Beyond Samsung and Apple at the top of the rankings is a tight race of vendors trying to break out from the pack," said Ramon Llamas, a research manager at IDC. "In 3Q13, Chinese vendors Huawei and Lenovo moved past LG, and not far behind are two more Chinese companies, Coolpad and ZTE. Any of these vendors could change position again next quarter. But in addition to having close shipment volumes, they all have one key ingredient in common: Android. This has been a huge factor in their success, but it also speaks to the challenges of differentiation on the world's most popular platform."

Samsung leads the global smartphone market with 31.4 percent while Apple's market share has fallen from 14.4 percent to 13.1 percent.

The overall mobile phone market is also growing, but at a much slower pace than smartphones. In total 467.9 million mobile phones (including smartphones) were shipped last quarter, a year-on-year growth rate of 5.7 percent.

Read more: IDC

Photo: Flickr/SamsungTomorrow

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Editorial standards