Samsung challenges Apple for Canada’s smartphone throne

A worldwide trend that has seen Samsung Electronics Co. take a dominant lead in the smartphone industry may now be taking effect in Canada, according to recent reports.

On a worldwide scale, Samsung has claimed one-third of the smartphone market since the third quarter of 2012 and remains steady at exactly 32.1 per cent market share in November 2013, according to analyst firm Gartner Inc. Although Samsung’s share of the market was flat, second-ranking Apple saw some of its share slip away – from 14.3 per cent a year ago to 12.1 per cent this month. Following the top two vendors worldwide are Lenovo with 5.1 per cent share, LG Electronics at 4.8 per cent, and Huawei at 4.7 per cent. A total of more than 250.2 million smartphone sales were completed in the third quarter of 2013 compared to 171.6 million one year ago.

In Canada, Apple remains the most popular smartphone choice, but Samsung is closing the gap as the second ranking brand, according to Ipsos Reid’s Mobil-ology study conducted in August 2013. While 33 per cent of Canadians use an iPhone, 29 per cent now use a Samsung device. Samsung has tripled its market share in Canada in the past two years, and in August 2011 it was just five per cent.

“We’ve seen a strong surge from Samsung and its line of Galaxy products, which are giving Apple a run for the top spot in Canada’s mobile device market,” says Mary Beth Barbour, Senior Vice President with Ipsos Reid in a statement. “Apple remains the top brand in both the Smartphone and the Tablet market, but in both spaces, they appear to have plateaued. Samsung, however, is gaining and is closing the gap in the Smartphone market.”

It’s worth pointing out that although Apple is slipping in market share, it is actually increasing the number of smartphones that it sells each quarter. The smartphone industry is still growing in overall size, so its not that Apple is selling less, just that other vendors are also selling more handsets into the marketplace.

Had the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S not shipped as late in the third quarter, its possible Apple’s numbers would be better, according to Gartner. Strong demand for iPhone 5S in many geographies saw stocks depleted, suggesting there was more demand than could be fulfilled.

Meanwhile Samsung has its Galaxy line to thank for lifting its smartphone sales. The latest entries, the Galaxy S4, and Galaxy Note 3, have dominated the big-screen size segment of the market.

Gartner’s numbers also carry more bad news for BlackBerry, which is losing its third-ranking in mobile operating system share to Microsoft Corp. Microsoft’s market share has climbed from 2.3 per cent to 3.6 per cent, while BlackBerry now only claims 1.8 per cent of the market. Google’s Android dominates with more than 80 per cent of the share.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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