Samsung dominated smartphone shipments but Huawei dominates growth

Preliminary data on smartphone shipments from International Data Corp. (IDC) shows the second quarter of 2015 saw the second highest shipment total for a single quarter ever, and while it’s the usual suspects dominating shipments it’s the new entries that are fueling the growth.

Data from IDC’s Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker for Q1 shows worldwide smartphone shipments of  337.2 million units, which is an improvement of 11.6 per cent from the 302.1 million smartphones shipped in the second quarter of 2014. If feature phones are included, total mobile phone shipments were 464.6 million units, a year over year decline of 0.4 per cent.

According to IDC, while premium handset sales were brisk in developed markets, it was really emerging markets and local vendors that drove shipment growth in the second quarter.

“The overall growth of the smartphone market was not only driven by the success of premium flagship devices from Samsung, Apple, and others, but more importantly by the abundance of affordable handsets that continue to drive shipments in many key markets,” said Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team, in a statement. “As feature phone shipments continue to decrease, vendors will continue to attack both emerging and developed markets with competitive smartphones that are both rich in features and low in price.”

Looking at the vendor leaderboard, Samsung remained the clear leader with 21.7 per cent of the market, although its market share actually declined by 2.3 per cent, year over year, with a mixed debut for the Galaxy S and S6, as demand for the edge outstripped supply. Apple was second with 14.1 per cent of shipments and year over year growth of 34.9 per cent, thanks to strong iPhone sales in China where new 4G networks are driving a move to devices with larger screens.

The largest growth came from third-place vendor Huawei, which grew its share by 48.1 per cent to capture 8.9 per cent of shipments. Xaimo was also strong in fourth, growing shipments by 29.4 per cent to capture 17.9 per cent of Q1 smartphone shipments. Lenovo rounded out the top five with 16.2 per cent of shipments; its numbers include Motorola.


“While much of the attention is being paid to Apple and Samsung in the top tier, the smartphone market in fact continues to diversify as more entrants hit this increasingly competitive market,” said Melissa Chau, senior research manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team, in a staement. “While the Chinese players are clearly making gains this quarter, every quarter sees new brands joining the market. IDC now tracks over 200 different smartphone brands globally, many of them focused on entry level and mid-range models, and most with a regional or even single-country focus.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras is a technology journalist with IT World Canada and a member of the IT Business team. He began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada and the channel for Computer Dealer News. His writing has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun & the Ottawa Citizen.

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