According to the latest research from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies, global smartphone shipments grew 36 percent annually to reach 210 million units in the first quarter of 2013. Samsung captured one-third of all smartphone volumes worldwide, while LG became the world’s third largest smartphone vendor for the first time ever.

Global smartphone shipments grew 36 percent annually from 153.8 million units in Q1 2012 to 209.5 million in Q1 2013. Growth was driven by surging demand for 4G LTE models in developed regions like North America and 3G models in emerging markets such as China

Samsung grew 56 percent annually and shipped a record 69.4 million smartphones worldwide, capturing an all-time-high 33 percent marketshare in Q1 2013. Samsung shipped almost two times more smartphones and grew nine times faster than Apple during the quarter. With the flagship Galaxy S4 model likely to be in high demand, provided there are no major component shortages, Samsung should continue to deliver strong smartphone volumes worldwide in the second quarter of the year. Apple shipped a lackluster 37.4 million iPhones worldwide in Q1 2013, up from 35.1 million a year earlier. Apple grew just 7 percent annually during Q1 2013, which was the iPhone’s lowest growth rate ever in its history. Apple’s premium-only strategy for the iPhone is approaching a natural ceiling and it will need to expand deeper into large markets like China or launch a lower-priced iPhone model for mass-market users.

LG was a star performer as its global shipments doubled year-over-year to 10.3 million units and it became the world’s third largest smartphone vendor for the first time ever in Q1 2013. An improved Optimus portfolio and expanded distribution have been the main causes of LG’s success. However, LG is still facing strong headwinds in the huge US and China markets and these remain key challenges for the Korean vendor this year.

Other findings from the research include:

Huawei delivered 5 percent share of the global smartphone market in Q1 2013, up from 3 percent a year earlier. Most of Huawei’s smartphone volumes are currently centered around China and Huawei will need to expand internationally if it wants to become an established global player in the future;
 

ZTE captured a record 4 percent share of the global smartphone market in Q1 2013. Like Huawei, ZTE’s growth has been coming largely from the China market and ZTE has a relatively modest presence abroad.

 

 

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments and Market Share in Q1 2013  [1]



 

Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q1 '12

Q1 '13

Samsung

44.4

69.4

Apple

35.1

37.4

LG

4.9

10.3

Huawei

5.1

10.0

ZTE

4.6

9.1

Others

59.7

73.3

Total

153.8

209.5

 

 

 

Global Smartphone Vendor Marketshare  %

Q1 '12

Q1 '13

Samsung

28.9%

33.1%

Apple

22.8%

17.9%

LG

3.2%

4.9%

Huawei

3.3%

4.8%

ZTE

3.0%

4.3%

Others

38.8%

35.0%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

Total Growth Year-over-Year %

49.3%

36.2%

 

 

 


[1]  Numbers are rounded.

 

The full report, Global Smartphone Shipments Reach 210 Million Units in Q1 2013, is published by the Strategy Analytics Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, details of which can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/bps9qhr.