Samsung and Apple Still Dominate Smartphone Shipments

As expected, Samsung and Apple retained the top two spots in the smartphone device market, shipping 70 and 37 million units in the first quarter, respectively.  

Together, the two giants accounted for 50% of global smartphone shipments, down slightly from 54% in the fourth quarter (their combined share has varied between 49% and 54% of the market since the fourth quarter of 2011).

The rest of the market remains in a scrum. A clear number three has yet to emerge. The next largest manufacturers have been shipping around five to 10 million units a quarter. In the first quarter, Huawei and LG shared the honours for third largest manufacturer, each shipping 10.3 million units, according to Canaccord Genuity’s data.

Google-owned Motorola continues to flounder, shipping only 2.5 million smartphones, its worst performance since the first quarter of 2010. If Google has big plans for Motorola, it has yet to show its hand.

HTC, which was moving more than 10 million units a quarter as recently as year-end 2011, likewise slipped, shipping 4.8 million smartphones. HTC is hoping that the release of its much-praised HTC One and an alliance with Facebook will help jumpstart growth.

The turnaround effort of onetime stalwart Nokia has yet to pay meaningful dividends. Blackberry, another fading stalwart, will face its big test this quarter. Two new devices running Blackberry 10, its next-generation platform, launched in March and April.

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smartphone shipments by vendor

Here’s another look at that chart:

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BII smartphone shipments alt

Interestingly, the trio of successful Chinese manufacturers — Huawei, ZTE, and Lenovo — stumbled last quarter. Collectively, they shipped 26.9 million smartphones, down from 28.5 million smartphones a quarter prior. Lenovo was hardest hit, falling to 7.6 million units shipped, down from 9 million a quarter prior. Only Huawei managed to escape a decline in shipments.

According to research firm TrendForce, as cited by Bloomberg, the decline is at least partly attributable to supply chain difficulties.

Nonetheless, we stand by our assessment that low-cost manufacturers like Huawei, ZTE, and Lenovo will power the next wave of smartphone adoption. 

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BII chinese manufacturer smartphone shipments

 

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