Apple's Smartphone Market Share Slips as Huawei, Lenovo Make Gains

Apple's growth in the overall worldwide smartphone market continues to slow as it loses ground to smaller Chinese vendors releasing more affordable devices, even as the smartphone market itself grows substantially.

According to IDC's latest estimates, worldwide smartphone sales for the second quarter of 2014 grew 23.1 percent year-over year as smartphones continue to replace feature phones, with a record quarter of 295.3 million shipments.

Apple shipped 35.1 million iPhones during the quarter, up from 31.2 million during Q2 2013, for a share of 11.9 percent, a slight drop from its 13 percent share in the year-ago quarter. The company's growth was at just 12.4 percent.

idc_2Q14_smartphones,jpg

Worldwide smartphone shipments in 2Q14 in millions of units (Source: IDC)

Samsung, the vendor that has long held the top spot with the most smartphone shipments, fared even worse during the quarter, with estimated shipments of 74.3 million for a 25.2 percent share of the market, down from 32.3 percent in Q2 2013, and overall growth of -3.9 percent.

Smaller Chinese vendors like Huawei and Lenovo continue to see significant growth, with Huawei shipping 20.3 million smartphones during the quarter for a 6.9 percent share and growth of 95.1 percent, while Lenovo shipped 15.8 million smartphones for 5.4 percent market share and growth of 38.7 percent.

Despite a challenging quarter for Samsung, and to a lesser extent Apple, the strong market demand boosted results for most smartphone vendors. Emerging markets supported by local vendors are continuing to act as the main catalyst for smartphone growth. Among the top vendors in the market, a wide range of Chinese OEMs more than outpaced the market in 2Q14. By far the most impressive was Huawei, nearly doubling its shipments from a year ago, followed by another strong performance from Lenovo.

As noted by IDC, Apple's second quarter is typically its seasonal low of the year due to its release schedule. Apple may see significant growth later in 2014 as it gears up to release the iPhone 6, meeting consumer demand for a larger-screened device for the first time.

Apple has also made efforts towards releasing low-cost devices in BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) markets that are ripe for growth, but it is difficult for the company to keep up with the myriad low-cost devices coming from manufacturers like Lenovo and Huawei in those markets.

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Top Rated Comments

kodos Avatar
130 months ago
Good to see Samsung getting what they deserve. I have to use a Galaxy S4 for a client (working on an Android app for them). It is terrible. Not sure why people like them. Definitely much worse than my iPhone 5S and my Lumia 1520. It reminds me of the days of Windows computers loaded with bloatware. The whole thing is slow, it doesn't feel high quality, and the screen is ridiculously over-bright/over-contrasted.

Awful product.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jrswizzle Avatar
130 months ago
So....is Samsung doomed? Or is that only reserved for companies who sell more phones than they did last year yet drop in market share?

China as a market is picking up steam - I believe its set to pass the US as the #1 consumer market very soon if it hasn't already. Why we're seeing companies like Huawei and Lenovo (especially with the recent Moto purchase) moving up the charts.

Wouldn't surprise me to see Huawei be a very strong 3rd player in the market - and they don't even have to leave China to do it.....

Unless Apple moves into the low-end device tier, they won't be much of a marketshare player. Then again, they never claimed to or wanted to be. It would take a shift in overall corporate strategy for them to do so. I, for one, think they make some of the best devices and provide some of the best services in the world and think it would be great if they got into the low-end market....but I get they have a specific brand image they're going for.

I'm not gonna lie....I smiled when I saw the drop for Samsung....there are so many other Android options out there that are as good if not better. Hopefully we'll see some like HTC and LG finally pick up some steam (again). Its more fun when the pot is more mixed versus one company dominating.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xero9 Avatar
130 months ago
In before someone says, but at least Apple makes the most profits.

Too bad the guy above you beat you to it, LOL

So maybe when the market grows and all the sales go to cheaper models, Samsung isn't "better", just cheaper.

So Apple remains, still sweeping up most of the profits.

mwop mwop mwa :cool:
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Piggie Avatar
130 months ago
I said this on the iPhone forum a while ago.

History tells us that technologies climb fast as the electronics develop, the great brands are then miles in front of the cheaper ones.

There is a MASSIVE gulf between a cheap item and an expensive item.
As the market and electronics matures, it becomes harder as time goes on to maintain the gap.

Apple, and others, every single year are going to have a harder and harder task to persuade the general public that a 600, 700, 800 900 dollar phone is needed, when the 100 or 200 dollar ones are getting better year upon year and closing the gap.

Screens will get as good as they need to be. People won't need more memory, CPU's and GPU's will hit the same limits as desktop machines have now.

And every year the cheap phones will be getting better and better.

Put say a Motorolla Android against an iPhone 3 and it will totally destroy it, in probably every single detail. and an iPhone 3 was THE best, and it's not that long ago.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleScruff1 Avatar
130 months ago
In before someone says, but at least Apple makes the most profits.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jrswizzle Avatar
130 months ago
oppsy....

dang.... Apple just can't stay at the top can they..

... slipping & sliding all over the place like someone on a bar of soap.

Do you even know the last time Apple was on top of world marketshare numbers?

The answer is never.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)