Samsung and Apple extend lead in smartphone market


Manufacturers double combined market share over the past two years as ZTE becomes a top five smartphone manufacturer for the first time

Samsung and Apple have more than doubled their combined global market share over the past two years, creating more distance between themselves and their rivals. This is according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

Samsung shipped 50.2 million phones in Q2, a 172.8 per cent increase from the 18.4 million smartphones it shipped in the same period last year. It’s market share almost doubled to 32.6 per cent in the quarter.

Apple’s smartphone shipments grew by 27.5 per cent to 26 million in the quarter, but its market share fell 1.9 per cent to 16.9 per cent. Between them, Samsung and Apple hold almost half of the smartphone market in terms of share.

IDC senior research analyst Kevin Restivo said: “Samsung and Apple have quickly become the global smartphone heavyweights though both employ somewhat different approaches to the market.

“Samsung employs a ‘shotgun’ strategy wherein many models are created that cover a wide range of market segments. Apple, in contrast, offers a small number of high-profile models.

“While both companies have expanded their geographic presence in pursuit of market share, the two companies will inevitably come into greater conflict as both try to generate additional gains.”

ZTE made the biggest jump as it entered the top five smartphone manufacturers for the first time. Its shipments grew 300 per cent to with million units in Q2, with market share rising to 5.2 per cent compared to 1.8 per cent a year ago.

Nokia held onto third place but shipments fell 38.9 per cent to 10.2 million units, whilst smartphone market share fell from 15.4 per cent to 6.6 per cent. HTC is fourth having seen shipments slip 24.1 per cent to 8.8 million in the quarter, with market share almost halving to 5.7 per cent.

Commenting on ZTE’s performance, executive vice president and head of the terminal division He Shiyou said: “ZTE’s great smartphone performance in 2012 in international markets has been a major contributor to our consistent expansion, and is a demonstration of the depth and strength of our R & D.

“We have moved into the middle to high-end smartphone market with the recent launch of the ZTE Grand X in countries including China, Turkey and the UK, and will continue to build our handset capabilities in the middle and high range sectors, while still delivering great lower end smartphones like the ZTE Kis.

“Smartphones are making up a higher and higher percentage of our mobile devices. Entering the smartphone manufacturers top five is an important milestone towards our target of becoming one of the top three mobile phone manufacturers in 2015.”