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Q2 Global Smartphone Sales Up, Apple Share Down

New York –Apple lost worldwide smartphone market share in the second quarter compared to the year ago quarter despite posting double-digit unit-sales gains, research companies IDC and Strategy Analytics found.

Strategy Analytics determined that Apple’s market share fell to its lowest level in three years.

The two research companies diverged over their estimates of Samsung share, with IDC saying Samsung lost share and Strategy Analytics saying the opposite.

Both research companies agreed, however, that LG increased its second-quarter share and that the global smartphone market surged in the quarter.

IDC estimated worldwide global smartphone shipments grew 52.3 percent to 237.9 million units in the quarter compared to a year ago, marking the highest growth rate in five quarters. IDC also found unit shipments rose sequentially by 10 percent from the first quarter.

For its part, Strategy Analytics estimated a 46.7 percent unit growth rate to 229.6 million units in the quarter compared to a year ago.

The two research companies also put different spins on Apple’s falling share.

IDC highlighted Apple’s unit sales growth, and it noted that the iPhone 5 “was faced with additional global competition in the form of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and HTC’s critically acclaimed One models. Nonetheless, IDC said, “Apple’s growth is likely to accelerate globally assuming it launches a lower cost iPhone and continues to penetrate prepaid markets in the quarters to come.”

Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston pointed out that Apple shipments grew 20 percent during the quarter, or less than half of the overall smartphone industry’s 47 percent growth. “Apple’s global smartphone market share of 14 percent is at its lowest level since the second quarter of 2010,” said Mawston. “The current iPhone portfolio is underperforming, and Apple is at risk of being trapped in a pincer movement between rival 3-inch Android models at the low-end and 5-inch Android models at the high-end.”

Mawston also noted that Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 model “experienced solid demand in China and worldwide” and helped lift Samsung unit sales by 56 percent in the quarter to 76 million.

Here are the market shares of the top five second-quarter smartphone vendors as reported by IDC:

Samsung remained on the top of the heap in unit share with a commanding 30.4 percent share, but its share fell from the year-ago’s 32.2 percent. Samsung’s unit shipments rose 44 percent in the quarter to 72.4 million compared to the year-ago quarter.

Apple remained in second place with 13.1 percent share, down from the year ago’s 16.6 percent share despite unit-shipment growth of 20 percent to 31.2 million.

Both companies’ sales grew at slower rates than the growth rate of the total smartphone market.

LG, Lenovo and ZTE rounded out the top 5 in the quarter, and all posted small share gains. LG’s share rose to 5.1 percent from 3.7 percent on shipments that jumped 108 percent to 12.1 million in the quarter compared to the year-ago quarter.

Lenovo’s share rose to 4.7 percent from 3.1 percent, and ZTE’s share went to 4.2 percent from 4.1 percent.

All other smartphone vendors collectively increased their share to 42.4 percent from 40.2 percent.

Here’s what Strategy Analytics found:

The top five smartphone vendors, in order, were Samsung, Apple, LG, ZTE, and Huawei. Samsung share rose to 33.1 percent from 31.1 percent on a 56 percent shipment gain to 76 million. Apple share slipped to 13.6 percent from 16.6 percent on a sales gain of 20 percent to 31.2 million.

Third-place LG boosted share to 5.3 percent from 3.7 percent on a unit-sales gain of 108 percent to 12.1 million, matching IDC’s statistics. ZTE share grew to 4.8 percent from 4.2 percent on a 98 percent sales gain to 11.5 million units. Huawei’s share grew to 4.8 percent from 4.2 percent on a 68 percent sales gain to 11.1 million. The share held by all other vendors slipped to 38.2 percent from 40.6 percent despite a 30 percent unit sales gain to 87.7 million.