Samsung keeps top spot as smartphone market grows

Samsung led the market with a 21.7 per cent market share, even though sales dipped from a year earlier.
Samsung led the market with a 21.7 per cent market share, even though sales dipped from a year earlier. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Samsung remained the top global smartphone vendor in the second quarter despite slowing sales, while Apple and Chinese manufacturers boosted market share, a survey showed Thursday.

The quarterly survey by research firm IDC showed the global market for smartphones grew 11.6 per cent from a year ago to 337.2 million units, the second highest quarterly total on record.

South Korea's Samsung led the market with a 21.7 per cent market share, even though sales dipped from a year earlier and its market share was below the 24.8 per cent in the same period a year ago.

Apple, which briefly took the lead in the fourth quarter of 2014 with its new iPhones, saw its market share rise more than two points from a year earlier to 14.1 per cent, IDC said.

But some of the biggest gains came from Chinese manufacturers with their more affordable handsets.

Huawei took the number three position with an 8.9 per cent share, thanks to strong European and domestic sales, which helped the Chinese group's 48 per cent year-over-year sales growth.

"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.

IDC said the entry-level smartphones are gaining ground as consumers move away from basic mobile handsets or "feature phones".

Xiaomi, a rising star from China, was the fourth largest vendor with 5.3 per cent of the market, following sales growth of nearly 30 per cent. The company has begun expanding outside of China into India and South-east Asia, and has plans to sell in Brazil as well.

Lenovo was number five on the list with a market share of 4.8 per cent, as the Chinese electronics giant was helped by its acquisition of the Motorola brand from Google.

"Lenovo continued to witness success in many emerging markets such as India with entry-level and mid-range models," IDC said.

"The Motorola brand within the Americas and Europe continues to thrive with the ultra-affordable second generation Moto E and entry-level to mid-range Moto G devices."