Gartner: Apple’s Q313 iPhone sales up 23.2 percent YOY; market share drops to 12.1 percent worldwide

Worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totaled 455.6 million units in the third quarter of 2013, an increase of 5.7 percent from the same period last year, according to Gartner, Inc. Sales of smartphones accounted for 55 percent of overall mobile phone sales in the third quarter of 2013, and reached their highest share to date.

Worldwide smartphone sales to end users reached 250.2 million units, up 45.8 percent from the third quarter of 2012. Asia/Pacific led the growth in both markets – the smartphone segment with 77.3 percent increase and the mobile phone segment with 11.9 percent growth. The other regions to show an increase in the overall mobile phone market were Western Europe, which returned to growth for the first time this year, and the Americas.

“Sales of feature phones continued to decline and the decrease was more pronounced in markets where the average selling price (ASP) for feature phones was much closer to the ASP affordable smartphones,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner. “In markets such as China and Latin America, demand for feature phones fell significantly as users rushed to replace their old models with smartphones.”

Gartner analysts said global mobile phone sales are on pace to reach 1.81 billion units in 2013, a 3.4 percent increase from 2012. “We will see several new tablets enter the market for the holiday season, and we expect consumers in mature markets will favor the purchase of smaller-sized tablets over the replacement of their older smartphones” said Mr. Gupta.

While Samsung’s share was flat in the third quarter of 2013, Samsung increased its lead over Apple in the global smartphone market (see Table 1). The launch of the Samsung Note 3 helped reaffirm Samsung as the clear leader in the large display smartphone market, which it pioneered.

Lenovo’s sales of smartphones grew to 12.9 million units, up 84.5 percent year-on-year. It constantly raised share in the Chinese smartphone market.

Apple’s smartphone sales reached 30.3 million units in the third quarter of 2013, up 23.2 percent from a year ago. “While the arrival of the new iPhones 5s and 5c had a positive impact on overall sales, such impact could have been greater had they not started shipping late in the quarter. While we saw some inventory built up for the iPhone 5c, there was good demand for iPhone 5s with stock out in many markets,” said Mr. Gupta.

Table 1: Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 3Q13 (Thousands of Units)
Gartner: Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 3Q13 (Thousands of Units)
Source: Gartner (November 2013)

In the smartphone operating system (OS) market (see Table 2), Android surpassed 80 percent market share in the third quarter of 2013, which helped extend its leading position. “However, the winner of this quarter is Microsoft which grew 123 percent. Microsoft announced the intent to acquire Nokia’s devices and services business, which we believe will unify effort and help drive appeal of Windows ecosystem,” said Mr. Gupta. Forty-one per cent of all Android sales were in mainland China, compared to 34 percent a year ago. Samsung is the only non-Chinese vendor in the top 10 Android players ranking in China. Whitebox Yulong is the third largest Android vendor in China with a 9.7 percent market share in the third quarter of 2013. Xiaomi represented 4.3 percent of Android sales in the third quarter of 2013, up from 1.4 percent a year ago.

Table 2: Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 3Q13 (Thousands of Units)
Gartner: Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 3Q13 (Thousands of Units)
Source: Gartner (November 2013)

Mobile Phone Vendor Perspective

Samsung: Samsung extended its lead in the overall mobile phone market, as its market share totaled 25.7 percent in the third quarter of 2013 (see Table 3). “While Samsung has started to address its user experience, better design is another area where Samsung needs to focus,” said Mr. Gupta. “Samsung’s recent joint venture with carbon fiber company SGL Group could bring improvements in this area in future products.”

Nokia: Nokia did better than anticipated in the third quarter of 2013, reaching 63 million mobile phones, thanks to sales of both Lumia and Asha series devices. Increased smartphone sales supported by an expanded Lumia portfolio, helped Nokia move up to the No. 8 spot in the global smartphone market. But regional and Chinese Android device manufacturers continued to beat market demand, taking larger share and creating a tough competitive environment for Lumia devices.

Apple: Gartner believes the price difference between the iPhone 5c and 5s is not enough in mature markets, where prices are skewed by operator subsidies, to drive users away from the top of the line model. In emerging markets, the iPhone 4S will continue to be the volume driver at the low end as the lack of subsidy in most markets leaves the iPhone 5c too highly priced to help drive further penetration.

MacDailyNews Take: As our own SteveJack wrote back the day iPhone 5c was unveiled:

It seems to me that Apple is using the iPhone 5c as a tool to push buyers to the 5s (well, at least those buyers who can grasp a simple value equation). Once Apple gets the customer to the websites or into the stores and the prospective buyer can see and/or hold both phones and learn that they’re only separated by a mere $100, my guess is that Apple figures they’ll have plenty of upsales occurring. Upsales that will boost Apple’s iPhone margins nicely.

Lenovo: Lenovo moved to the No. 7 spot in the global mobile phone market, with sales reaching approximately 13 million units in the third quarter of 2013. “Lenovo continues to rely heavily on its home market, which represents more than 95 per cent of its overall mobile phone sales. This could limit its growth after 2014, when the Chinese market is expected to decelerate,” said Mr. Gupta.

Table 3: Worldwide Mobile Phone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 3Q13 (Thousands of Units)
Gartner: Worldwide Mobile Phone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 3Q13 (Thousands of Units)
Source: Gartner (November 2013)

Additional information is in the Gartner report “Market Share Analysis: Mobile Phones, Worldwide, 3Q13.” The report is available on Gartner’s website at

Source: Gartner, Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, Android can have the Hew Haw demographic. Unit share for unit share’s sake is not, and never has been, Apple’s focus.


  1. The only people who think google is winning because of market share is google, even though a large percent of Androids market share comes from degoogled android ports in china

  2. I smell a rat with the “Others”. I just don’t believe there are dozens or potentially hundreds of no-name brand phones being pumped out at that rate.
    If Gartner’s “analysts” are correct, they are saying that 1.8B phones will be sold next year. That’s one phone for every 4 people in the world. If adults and the better off teens in affluent countries are buying on average once every 2 years, I sincerely doubt that the poorer 5 billion (of which at least half are children) are swapping theirs out for the latest gear at half that rate, rather than buying food to survive.

    1. I agree. The total number of “smart phones” is way to large (as well as the total number of phones sold). Either they are counting very cheap, high end “feature phones” that no one would today call a “smart phone” today or they’re just making numbers up. What was considered a “smart phone” in 2004 is not really considered a “smart phone” today.

      It’s no different than the concept of a “broadband connection” Back in 2001 anything more than dialup (more than 56 kbps) was considered broadband. Today, most of the people I talk to consider broadband to start at multiple Mbps.

      They are claiming that last quarter 55% of all phones sold are smart phones and and the previous year the relative fraction was 40%. Are they projecting as much as 2/3 of all cell phone sales will be “smart phones” by this time next year?

      Also the year to year growth of all cell phone sales is approximately 6%. Are they claiming that will continue? Are they really claiming that there will be over 1.9 Billion cell phones sold next year of which over 1.2 Billion will be “Smart Phones”? So one out of every six man, woman and child on the entire planet will have a “Smart Phone” by the end next year?

    1. Yeah that should help give developers the impetus to build for the OS not to mention how it would marginalise the Apple only technologies that need to be widespread in the wireless sector. Sounds more like an Android Fanboi with or without a capital ‘S’ behind such a desire.

    2. This is impossible without a drop in sales which would be very, very bad for Apple. Assuming everyone in the world had a mobile phone (8 billion) 1% share is 80 million devices. They sell about 10 million iPhones a month – that’s 120 million annually.

  3. We ancient olde Mac fanatics see the same old story being applied:

    There is no end of demand for imitative, good enough knockoff junk. Pity the buyers.

    Next up on the craptastic list:
    Samsung Tizen turdular TrashPhones. This is going to be highly amusing. 😆

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