Apple Again Trails Market in Smartphone Growth, but Closes on Nokia in Overall Mobile Phones
As it has for several quarters now, Apple continues to trail the overall smartphone market's booming growth, with the company's 16.8 percent year-over-year growth in the first quarter registering as the lowest among top five vendors in a market that grew by 28.6 percent as a whole, according to a new report from research firm IDC. Market leader Samsung also trailed the broader market's growth as Huawei, Lenovo, and LG all jockeyed for position in the closely contested third through fifth spots in the rankings.
Apple reached a new first quarter record, breaching the 40 million unit mark. The company saw double-digit growth in Japan as well as across multiple developing markets, including Brazil, China, India, and Indonesia. Still, this made for the lowest year-over-year improvement among the leading vendors. What remains to be seen is when – not if – Apple's rumored large-screen models will arrive on the market, filling a gap in the company's portfolio that has been exploited by the competition.
In the overall mobile phone market, Apple again outperformed most of the competition as feature phone sales continue to dwindle. With Apple's all-smartphone lineup taking nearly 10 percent of the overall market in the quarter, the company is within striking distance of Nokia, which garnered 11.3 percent of the market as it continues to be hit hard by the decline in feature phone sales and instability as it has shifted from Symbian to Windows Phone. Just days ago, Microsoft completed its acquisition of Nokia's phone unit, officially uniting software and hardware in what has been a close partnership over the last several years.
Apple last week announced record March quarter earnings on the strength of its 43.7 million iPhones shipped. The iPhone continues to drive Apple's overall financial performance, representing 57 percent of the company's revenue for the quarter.