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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.

Worldwide smartphone shipments in 1Q14 in millions of units (Source: IDC)
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.

Worldwide mobile phone shipments in 1Q14 in millions of units (Source: IDC)

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.

Top Rated Comments

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64 months ago
And Honda sells more cars than Audi.

The point here is?

(I'll tell you what the point is... the industry needs to stop treating this as one giant monolithic market. It doesn't work that way in other industries... why does it work that way in the phone business)?

Apple's profits in the phone business are rising. Samsung's profits in the phone business got CUT IN HALF over the past year.

Yet the problem is... Apple's market share?
Rating: 31 Votes
64 months ago
We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, EVERYBODY has to lose.

Apple does their own thing. They shouldn't stop now. Keep moving forward and don't look back.
Rating: 15 Votes
64 months ago
When you need to compare apple to Nokia you know macrumors is reaching for some positive.

You don't need to spin the news macrumors just report the bigger headline

Apple is doomed
Rating: 8 Votes
64 months ago
Apple is quality and Samsung is quantity. This is no surprise. I'd rather keep Apple focusing on quality as they are now. Samsung can keep making it's large quantities of questionable quality phones.

And Apple wins the profits from phones war also.

[edit] Samsung does make some ok phones. But a large number of them are not that good at all.


Apple's profits in the phone business are rising. Samsung's profits in the phone business got CUT IN HALF over the past year.

Yet the problem is... Apple's market share?

This is the main point here. Apple clearly wins this war.
Rating: 8 Votes
64 months ago

I am pleasantly surprised that Apple increased its global mobile phone share by a full 1% YOY.
Considering that the market is being flooded with cheap smartphone then it is great to see Apple's share growing. Show that customers who had earlier bought cheaper phones are trading up to the iPhone.

Indeed. The term 'smartphone' market is a joke based on arbitrary distinctions. There will soon be only one 'phone' market and in that market Apple's share is and always has been rising steadily and is now up to 10%.

These reports have been able to suppress this story the last few years by continually moving more and more phones into the 'smartphone' category to make said category grow faster than Apple to make Apple look bad. This includes many Android devices with no data plans. However, within the next year they will run out of dumb phones to reclassify as smartphones and Apple's true growth will become impossible to hide. I'll make some popcorn...
Rating: 7 Votes
64 months ago

Apple "SOLD" 43.7M iPhones, Samsung "SHIPPED" 85M Smartphones thus not an accurate comparrison.

Nope. Apple shipped 43.7M iPhones, Samsng was estimated to have "SHIPPED" 85M Smartphones. Still not accurate, but an apples to apples comparison.
Rating: 6 Votes
64 months ago

And what is the percentage of phones Apple sells directly (online or retail)? This is non an immaterial number... which means that what Apple counts as sold is very different than what Samsung counts as shipped. Not Apples/Apples.


So... you're argument is...

"A smartphone is a smartphone"


"A car is not a car"

Got it...

Definitively, you're joking, have a good day.
Rating: 6 Votes
64 months ago

I'm not sure where you are getting that information from. The Galaxy S4 sold extremely poorly... and by all accounts we're going to get the same from the S5. The S3 was their last high end "hit" phone.

The vast majority of Samsung's share comes from their cheapo phones.

Try Google... you'll see.

From all the accounts I have read the Galaxy S4 {while below market expectations} outsold the S3 and S5 has already supposedly outsold both S4 and 5s launch figures.

KOREAN PHONE MAKER Samsung revealed on Wednesday that it has sold 40 million Samsung Galaxy S4 handsets so far, but apparently it isn't satisfied with that.
Samsung CEO JK Shin revealed the sales figures to Korean news website inews24, announcing that the firm has shifted 40 million units of its flagship Android handset in the six months since its global debut.
This means that the firm has sold more Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphones than it had Galaxy S3 handsets by the six month mark, with the firm last year revealing that it shifted 40 million of its flagship handset in seven months.
While this sounds like pretty good news for Samsung, the firm apparently isn't pleased with these numbers so far, with reports claiming that the phone maker hoped to have reached 50 million sales by now. Investors reportedly haven't been pleased with the sales figures either, claiming that Galaxy S4 sales have been "15-20 percent lower" than had been expected. This apparently caused the firm to scale back production of the handset.


The Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 followed very different sales arcs, despite similar announcement dates. The Galaxy S4 was very fast out the gate and sold an average of 20 million units per quarter in Q2 and Q3. But this quarter sales fell roughly in half, dropping well below the Galaxy S3 monthly sales rate at that point in the device's lifecycle. Still the Galaxy S4 did ship more units during its launch year. By the end of 2012 Samsung had sold roughly 39.9 million Galaxy S3s, by the end of 2013, Samsung had sold roughly 49.0 million Galaxy S4s.


FIRST DAY Samsung Galaxy S5 sales reportedly doubled those of last year's Galaxy S4, despite previous reports claiming that it was struggling to match up to its predecessor.
ZDNet Korea reported that the Galaxy S5, which we review in the video below, has already sold out in many places, following its launch across 125 countries in 14 April.
According to the report, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is on average outselling the Galaxy S4 1.3 times, adding that in some parts of Europe, including the UK, sales of the Android 4.4 Kitkat handset have been double those of last year's flagship Samsung smartphone.


Galaxy S5 vs. iPhone 5s launch sales: The Galaxy S5 sold better at launch (April 11-13) than the iPhone 5s did on its launch weekend (Sept. 20-22, 2013). The S5 comprised 23% of total phones sold in the U.S., and 18% of total phones sold in Canada, during the period. The iPhone 5s comprised 18% of total phones sold in the U.S. during its launch weekend, and 13% of total phones sold in Canada.

Galaxy S4 sales in 6-month lead-up to Galaxy S5 launch (Oct. 2013 to March 2014): Even with a new model expected in April 2014, the Galaxy S4 saw sales peaks during the 2013 holiday season and in January 2014.

iPhone 5 Sales in 6-Month lead-up to iPhone 5s launch (May 2013 to Oct. 2013): Interestingly, U.S. iPhone 5 sales dropped progressively in the months preceding the iPhone 5s launch. In Canada, on the other hand, sales remained low and flat during the same period.

Galaxy S5 launch weekend sales by region: The Galaxy S5 comprised a whopping 41% of phones sold (April 11-13) in the Southern U.S. region; 30% in the Northeast, 23% in the Midwest, 21% in the West, as well as 18% of phones sold in Canada.


That said the Galaxy S model {of the current year} will never {IMO} quite catch up to the iphone flagship of that year except maybe for the quarter it launches in.
Rating: 6 Votes
64 months ago
1) Some people need to stop analogizing that the iPhone is a premium device vs its competition. It may provide a premium experience - but there are many premium phones in the marketplace now. Apple isn't the "porshe" or whatever car you want to say vs a "kia."

2) Yay. Stupid bragging rights on a meaningless stat unto itself. How many here are going to lose sleep or stress out about whether or not Apple has sold as many or more than other companies?

3) Another poster said it well - some people need to let go of the notion that in order for Apple to "win" or "succeed" it means all others must fail.
Rating: 6 Votes
64 months ago

The way iOS works seems obvious today—but it's only obvious because it works so well. It's as if people think that's the way it should have always worked. But it didn't—not by a longshot—before iOS came around. We take it for granted today, but the first time I held an iPhone on June 29, 2007 it was like a magical little slab of aluminum and glass. All other phones seemed like ancient artifacts by comparison. And Eric Schmidt was sitting on Apple's board, funneling inside information back to the mothership. Changing their design from a BlackBerry clone to an iPhone clone. That fact is well documented.

I wonder if Tim Cook has been doing the same while sitting on the Nike board of directors? After all, Nike has been in the fitness business in some way shape or form since before Apple existed. And now all of a sudden Apple is coming out with fitness apps and hiring in that area amid strong rumors of a watch with fitness functionality. :eek:
Rating: 6 Votes

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