Worldwide sales of smartphones exceeded 300 million unit in one quarter for the first time ever, according to the research firm IDC.
Manufacturer shipments of smartphones were up more than 25 percent compared to the 2nd quarter of 2013, and up 5% compared to the first quarter of this year. Android devices dominated with nearly 85% of sales, amounting to 255 million devices, with Apple’s iOS devices in second place with almost 12 percent. Blackberry counted for only 0.5 percent of the total, but that’s an increase compared to last year. Windows phone accounts for most of the rest, with a market share of just 2.5%, down from the year before. With iOS and Android accounting for nearly 97 percent of the worldwide market, Microsoft has a tough road ahead with it’s Windows Phone OS.
The chart below shows how Android’s dominance has grown at the expense of Windows, Blackberry, and even Apple over the last three years.
While Apple’s iPhone is still commands the largest market share in the U.S., it struggles in many emerging markets due to its high price. Manufacturers of Android phones are actively pursuing those markets with less expensive (US $100 – $200) devices, a market segment in which Apple simply does not compete. Apple’s approach is undoubtedly more profitable in the short term, but as the economies of these countries grow, and their consumers become better off, Apple may find itself an also ran in countries dominated by Google’s ecosystem.
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Nor surprisingly, Samsung is the largest vendor of Android phones, followed by Huawei, Lenovo and LG. The strength of Huawei and Lenovo demonstrate the rising importance of the Chinese market. HTC is no longer the major player it once was.
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