Boston – Smaller smartphone brands LG, Huawei, and Lenovo boosted their global smartphone shipments about two times faster than the industry as a whole in 2013, said Strategy Analytics.
The research firm said this required market leaders Samsung and Apple “to fight hard to hold off these and other hungry challengers during 2014,”.
Although Apple and Samsung maintained their grip on the industry with number one and two shares, respectively, said senior analyst Linda Sui, “there is clearly now more competition coming from the second-tier smartphone brands.” LG, Huawei and Lenovo captured a combined 14 percent unit share worldwide in 2013 to close the gap with Apple, whose share fell to 15.5 percent. “Huawei is expanding swiftly in Europe, while LG’s Optimus range is proving popular in Latin America, and Lenovo’s Android models are selling at competitive price-points across China,” Sui said.
Samsung and Apple, nonetheless, together accounted for almost half of all smartphones shipped worldwide in 2013. “Large marketing budgets, extensive distribution channels and attractive product portfolios have enabled Samsung and Apple to maintain their grip on the smartphone industry,” she said.
Samsung shipped a record 319.8 million smartphones worldwide and captured 32.3 percent share in 2013, marking the largest number of units ever shipped by a smartphone vendor in a single year, said executive director Neil Mawston. “Despite tough competition from a long tail of Chinese and American brands, Samsung continued to deliver numerous hit models, such as the Galaxy S4 and Note 3,” he said.
For its part, Apple shipments grew 13 percent to 53.4 million in 2013 to yield a 15 percent market share, down from 2012’s 19 percent. “Apple remains strong in the high-end smartphone segment, but a lack of presence in the low-end category is costing it lost volumes in fast-growing emerging markets such as India,” Mawston said.
For the year, Huawei shipments grew 67 percent to 50.4 million, LG shipments grew 81 percent to 47.6 million, and Lenovo shipments grew 94 percent to 45.5 million.
In the fourth quarter of 2013, Samsung shipments grew 36.5 percent to 86 million, Apple shipments grew 6.7 percent to 51 million, Huawei grew 52 percent to 16.6 million, LG grew 53 percent to 13.2 million, and Lenovo grew 47.8 percent to 13.6 million.