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.

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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.

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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

bobringer Avatar
101 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?
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
101 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.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
the8thark Avatar
101 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.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Radio Avatar
101 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
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
proline Avatar
101 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...
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleScruff1 Avatar
101 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:
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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