Even as Apple's share of the smartphone market declined in the fourth quarter of 2013, the rise of smartphones to replace more basic feature phones has allowed the company to continue increasing its share of the overall mobile phone market, according to new numbers from research firm IDC.

According to IDC, yearly smartphone shipments topped one billion for the first time in 2013 and now represent 55 percent of mobile phone shipments, up from under 42 percent in 2012. The fourth quarter alone saw smartphone capture over 58 percent of the overall mobile phone market.

idc_4Q13_smartphones

Worldwide smartphone shipments in 4Q13 in millions of units (Source: IDC)

For full-year 2013, Apple's iPhone sales increased by 12.9 percent over 2012, trailing the broader smartphone industry's growth rate of 38.4 percent. Apple was, however, still able to retain firm control of second place in the rankings behind Samsung even as Apple's market share fell from 18.7 percent to 15.3 percent. It was a similar story for the fourth quarter on its own, with Apple's 6.7 percent growth in shipments trailing the broader market and causing the company's share to dip from 20.9 percent to 17.9 percent.

Apple posted record shipment volume during 4Q13, driven primarily by the addition of multiple countries offering the iPhone 5S and 5C, and sustained demand from its initial markets that saw these models launch at the end of 3Q13. Still, Apple had the lowest year-on-year increase of all the leading vendors. Now that Apple has finally arrived at China Mobile, it remains to be seen how much Apple will close the gap against Samsung in 2014.

But when looking at the overall mobile phone market, Apple performs much better due to its exclusive focus on the rapidly growing smartphone segment. According to IDC's numbers, Apple easily outpaced overall market growth of 4.8 percent for 2013 and 0.9 percent for the fourth quarter alone, boosting Apple to an 8.4 percent share for the full year and 10.4 percent for fourth quarter. Apple continues to sit firmly in third place among all mobile phone manufacturers behind Samsung and a rapidly falling Nokia.

idc_4Q13_phones

Worldwide mobile phone shipments in 4Q13 in millions of units (Source: IDC)

Just yesterday, Apple released its earnings report for the fourth quarter (first fiscal quarter of 2014), revealing fairly strong overall performance but weaker than expected iPhone numbers that helped drive Apple's stock down nearly 8 percent at the opening of trading today. And with the iPhone accounting for 56 percent of Apple's revenue for the quarter, it's clear the device continues to be the main factor in measuring Apple's success.

Top Rated Comments

Stella Avatar
94 months ago
Of course Apple's marketshare will get smaller.. as more and more Android phones are sold. Apple cannot compete with raw sale of units.

What is important is healthy -
* iPhone sales, which we saw yesterday.
* healthy iOS eco system

Marketshare data is one data point, out of many.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pgiguere1 Avatar
94 months ago
ITT: armchair CEOs telling how Apple should be run
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
94 months ago
Apple should just not call the iPhone a smartphone but something like
"a phone that people love to use and that gets software updates for at least 3 year"

They would have 100% market share in this category (what my point is, is that most of the android phones out there are just better feature phones and not used for anything smart)

Because that would have meaning?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
94 months ago
I read an article that looked at the smartphone market and divided it into several tiers. In the "premium" tier, defined as over $400 phones, Apple has something over 60% of the world market share. My point is that we saturate smartphone penetration and "feature" phones are history, we need to change the conversation. Apple will probably never compete in the mid or low end, so diluting their market share with those numbers does not make sense. Apple is increasing sales and market shares in the area they care about -- the premium smartphones (although profit per phone is down slightly).

This is the same for Porche or BMW -- yes they are losing market share to the overall car market, but in the premium sports car market they rule. And that's all they care about.
Another poor car analogy. Predictable :)

I'm pretty sure Apple cares about marketshare - not just marketshare of the "high end" market. Do they care about that - yes - but as a part of the whole pie.

Any attempt to imply otherwise is pure rationalization.

p.s. Apple is doing very well marketshare wise. And there's room to grow (IE - increase) which is important. Even more important - they are very profitable.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2457282 Avatar
94 months ago
I read an article that looked at the smartphone market and divided it into several tiers. In the "premium" tier, defined as over $400 phones, Apple has something over 60% of the world market share. My point is that we saturate smartphone penetration and "feature" phones are history, we need to change the conversation. Apple will probably never compete in the mid or low end, so diluting their market share with those numbers does not make sense. Apple is increasing sales and market shares in the area they care about -- the premium smartphones (although profit per phone is down slightly).

This is the same for Porche or BMW -- yes they are losing market share to the overall car market, but in the premium sports car market they rule. And that's all they care about.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Michael Scrip Avatar
94 months ago


Another poor car analogy. Predictable :)

I'm pretty sure Apple cares about marketshare - not just marketshare of the "high end" market. Do they care about that - yes - but as a part of the whole pie.

Any attempt to imply otherwise is pure rationalization.

p.s. Apple is doing very well marketshare wise. And there's room to grow (IE - increase) which is important. Even more important - they are very profitable.

Market share is a look at the entire market to see how each company is ranked.

I'm sure all companies think about their individual market share among everyone else... but it's never a primary focus. It can't be. Companies can only control themselves... not everyone else.

Apple made the conscious decision to only sell expensive smartphones. They're certainly allowed to do that.

Other companies choose to sell across a full range of prices... including cheaper smartphones. And that appeals to a broader base of consumers.

The funny thing is... Apple is still the #2 smartphone vendor by units sales... despite only selling expensive smartphones. And you're right... they are very profitable.

And that's key here. What good is selling a bunch of phones to gain market share if it doesn't make you any money to keep your doors open?

These are businesses after all. You can't pay your bills with market share.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
iphone12cameras

Kuo: 2022 iPhones to Feature 48-Megapixel Camera, 8K Video, and 6.1 and 6.7" Sizes With No 5.4" Mini Option

Tuesday April 13, 2021 10:45 pm PDT by
The upcoming 2022 iPhone lineup will feature two 6.1-inch devices and two 6.7-inch devices, with no mini-sized 5.4-inch iPhone, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors that was seen by MacRumors. Two of the iPhones will be high-end models and two of the iPhones will be lower-end models, similar to the current iPhone 12 lineup. Apple introduced the 5.4-inch...
macos catalina serial number

Apple Preparing Rollout of New Randomized Product Serial Numbers Ahead of 'Spring Loaded' Event

Wednesday April 14, 2021 2:08 am PDT by
Apple is advising its authorized premium resellers and dealers to prepare for new products with 10 and 12 digital serial numbers, days ahead of when it's expected to reveal a slew of new products. MacRumors previously reported that Apple plans to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021. The company now seems to be preparing for that roll-out, telling...
apple event particularly innovative article

Gurman: Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Won't Feature Anything 'Particularly Innovative'

Thursday April 15, 2021 1:30 am PDT by
Bloomberg's highly-respected Mark Gurman says that he expects nothing "particularly innovative" or "extraordinary" to launch at Apple's "Spring Loaded" event next week, Tuesday, April 20. Gurman made the remarks during an interview for Bloomberg Technology, in which he reaffirmed that Apple will launch a new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the higher-end model featuring a brand new...
duanrui iphone13 notch samples

More Leaked iPhone 13 Samples Show Smaller Notch, Repositioned Earpiece and Front Camera

Wednesday April 14, 2021 1:06 am PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has today shared an image of two iPhone 13 "film samples," which show the same rumored smaller notch design coming to the iPhone 13 series that we've seen from other sources. In past tweets, DuanRui has accurately leaked the correct names of the iPhone 12 models and an iPad Air 4 manual revealing its new design, so there's good reason to think this leak is credible, ...
siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...
apple event hashflag

Twitter Hashflag for April 20 Apple Event Goes Live

Tuesday April 13, 2021 2:21 pm PDT by
Following the overnight Siri leak and subsequent announcement that Apple will hold a media event on Tuesday, April 20, a new Twitter hashflag has appeared to help provide visibility for the event on the platform. For the last several recent events, Apple has utilized hashflags, which are little icons next to hashtags on Twitter, as a way to market its events. The company first started the...
parallels windows 10 arm mac

Parallels 16.5 Can Virtualize ARM Windows Natively on M1 Macs With Up to 30% Faster Performance

Wednesday April 14, 2021 7:00 am PDT by
Parallels today announced the release of Parallels Desktop 16.5 for Mac with full support for M1 Macs, allowing for the Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview and ARM-based Linux distributions to be run in a virtual machine at native speeds on M1 Macs. Parallels says running a Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview virtual machine natively on an M1 Mac results in up to 30 percent better performance compared ...
iphone 13 pro render rear

iPhone 13 Pro Rumored to Be Thicker and Feature Larger Rear Camera System

Wednesday April 14, 2021 7:07 am PDT by
Tech blog 91Mobiles has obtained 3D renders of what it claims will be the iPhone 13 Pro, revealing a largely familiar design with a few notable changes, including a smaller notch and a significantly larger rear camera system. Following renders of the standard iPhone 13 model from MySmartPrice yesterday, which showed a new diagonal rear camera layout, these renders of the 6.1-inch iPhone 13...
third gen Apple pencil leaked video

Video of Alleged Third-Generation Apple Pencil Leaks Ahead of Apple Event

Friday April 16, 2021 6:13 am PDT by
A video purporting to be of the third-generation Apple Pencil has today been shared online, showing a glossy finish that mirrors previous leaks. New ✏️ ready to 🚢 #AppleEvent @TommyBo50387266 pic.twitter.com/s4RCDwDi5M— 漢尼斯·拉斯納 🇨🇳 (@ileakeer) April 16, 2021 The brief video from Twitter account @ileakeer, spotted by 9to5Mac, shows an Apple Pencil with a glossy finish much like the...