Strategy Analytics: Samsung ships new all-time record number of smartphones

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments grew 41 percent annually to reach a record 990 million units in 2013. Huawei, Lenovo and LG were the star performers, capturing a combined 14 percent marketshare worldwide and closing the gap on Apple.

Ken Hyers, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global smartphone shipments grew 34 percent annually from 217.0 million units in Q4 2012 to 290.2 million in Q4 2013. Global smartphone shipments for the full year were just shy of the 1 billion level, but they nonetheless reached a record 990.0 million units in 2013, increasing from 700.1 million in 2012. Global smartphone shipment growth decreased slightly from 43 percent in 2012 to 41% in 2013, due to high penetration in some major markets like the United States.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Samsung shipped a record 319.8 million smartphones worldwide and captured 32 percent marketshare in 2013. This was the largest number of units ever shipped by a smartphone vendor in a single year. Despite tough competition from a long tail of Chinese and American brands, Samsung continued to deliver numerous hit models, such as the Galaxy S4 and Note 3. Apple grew a sluggish 13 percent annually and shipped 153.4 million smartphones worldwide for 15 percent marketshare in 2013, dipping from the 19 percent level recorded in 2012. Apple remains strong in the high-end smartphone segment, but a lack of presence in the low-end category is costing it lost volumes in fast-growing emerging markets such as India.”

Linda Sui, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “Samsung and Apple together accounted for almost half of all smartphones shipped worldwide in 2013. Large marketing budgets, extensive distribution channels and attractive product portfolios have enabled Samsung and Apple to maintain their grip on the smartphone industry. However, there is clearly now more competition coming from the second-tier smartphone brands. Huawei, LG and Lenovo each grew their smartphone shipments around two times faster than the global industry average and captured a combined 14 percent marketshare. Huawei is expanding swiftly in Europe, while LG’s Optimus range is proving popular in Latin America, and Lenovo’s Android models are selling at competitive price-points across China. Samsung and Apple will need to fight hard to hold off these and other hungry challengers during 2014.”

Strategy Analytics: Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments and Market Share in Q4 2013

The full report, Global Smartphone Shipments Reach a Record 990 Million Units in 2013, is published by the Strategy Analytics Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, details of which can be found here.

Source: Strategy Analytics

MacDailyNews Take:

“Our objective has always been to make the best, not the most.” – Apple CEO Tim Cook, remarking on iPhone, January 27, 2014

Related articles:
IDC: All leading smartphone vendors outgrew Apple iPhone unit sales in holiday quarter – January 28, 2014
Kantar: Android gains, Apple’s iOS loses market share across the board – January 28, 2014


    1. To recap, the startegy is to drive Samdung up and Apple down, then Samdung, buy Apple and drive Apple up and drive Samdung down. Win, win on the way up as well as on the way down.
      Them Big Fat Bastards!!! 🙁

    2. Samsung said they sold 100 milliion of all of Galaxy S and Galaxy Note smartphones in 2013. Those are their real smartphones.

      Other “smartphones” are formally that, but are not used in such role.

  1. This article loosely translated reads, “Right boys and girls, we have just bought Samdung shares now that we have driven it below our target, lets us all with one accord begin to pump up its value by talking the talk. Don’t forget, DO NOT SELL UNTIL WE HAVE ACHIEVED THE TARGET CEILING!”.

  2. Samsung’s paid spinsters must be working overtime!

    We need a list of the dishonest media/journos, ranked according to bias. Lots of people are being bought off to mislead readers of the mainstream media.

    1. Much though I hate the meme of ship≠sold, to what practical purpose would that equate to a disparity in the numbers? Samsung can at most report shipped because their sales channel is primarily through carriers and third party resellers like Best Buy, Walmart, etc. So to them shipped is sold, unless the phone was sold on consignment basis in which case the manufacturer takes the cost of the returns. This, however, is unlikely.

      Apple has a better grip on the sales number, as in sell through to the hands of the consumer, because it has a retail network selling iPhones as well as the activation feature of new iPhones having to report their activation to Apple servers. You cannot activate a new iPhone without Apple knowing about it.

      I would say that shipped numbers in Samsung’s case would largely mirror sold numbers within a margin of +-5% of error, given that these could be units in transit and moved to retailers but sitting unsold on shelves. Given the short turnaround cycle of electronic products, it is unlikely to be sitting long on retailers shelves, unless the retailers/carriers got their order projections completely wrong.

      1. BLN,
        But you miss the point here. Just like the crazy bloggers want you to. Watch my left hand while my right hand picks your pocket. LOL

        When is a tablet NOT A TABLET???
        —- when we want to make our product look better than yours. (Companies use tablet for surface but not for iPad cause it makes PC numbers shipped look really bad).

        When is marketshare NOT market share?
        —– when you take your weakest but big selling phones and call them “smart” phones and all the phones you shipped and call it doing great. But you ignore the returned phones, the phones that get put on the discount stores cause no one will buy them outright, and the phones that your distributers write off as junk never to be sold…
        Now you can impress your speculators with big numbers, even though your cash input drops like a rock…

        When is popular NOT POPULAR????
        —– When you spend billions to hype your new, new, newest phone/pad but usage numbers (actual internet use) drops thru the floor but your stock goes up cause you have partnered with companies to help sell your company efforts rather than just make great products.

        When you get caught stealing innovation ideas, caught paying people to post lies about your competition, caught designing equipment to get high scores on ranking tests but then make it run slow and buggy in real life, what do you do???

        Steal, lie, design to cheat and promote how a cheap plastic back that pops off at the slightest bump is really a GOOD thing. And bloggers with a deadline, jump to copy your BS.

        The world is complicated enough as it is. When we focus on lies as being truth and ok, we make everything much harder and more confusing.

        Just saying.

  3. Characterizing Apple’s growth as sluggish is kind of amusing. Any other market or competitor with 13% growth would be over the moon. The U.S. GDP grew about 3%. That is what I would call sluggish. Apple should at least get some credit, now, for the law of large numbers. It is a lot harder to grow 13% when you sell 150 million devices, than it is when you sell 100k.


  4. Apple’s aim is not now, nor has it ever been, to chase market share. They are not driven by the need to capture a percentage of a market. Wall Street will never fathom this aspect of the company. They simply don’t grok it. They only understand this one goal and they write about Apple as though they have failed to achieve a goal they never professed to pursue. Apple is only, thankfully, interested in delighting the consumer with products that live at the center of technology and the liberal arts. There will therefore always be a disconnect between the successes of the company and it’s share price on Wall Street. I for one, hope that Apple can maintain their focus amid all the noise until the mothership is ready to leave the atmosphere (at least).

    1. Market share is unimportant if you’re selling prestige products like Tiffany’s diamonds or Hermes scarves because to a large extent exclusivity, by tightly controlling supply, enhances the perceived value of a prestige product. The perceived value is directly tied to its rarity. Rarity is imposed by the high price you pay to acquire the product. This leads to super-profits for the brand because the cost of manufacture is out of line with the selling price.

      However, it can be argued that the phone business is not a prestige business in that smartphones and their associated popularity depend on mass adoption. If growth and market share fall below competitors this indicates that the adoption rate of your product is below that of competitors.

      It would be wise to look at the causes why Apple’s growth rate is lagging its main competitors, rather than dismiss it out of hand, and attribute that to the competitor chasing lower margin markets. You want Apple to be able to play in the lower margin markets because you want more people to acquaint themselves with the Apple ecosystem as early as possible so they can climb up the value ladder as their income grows.

        1. You obviously missed the fact that outside of the US, people usually buy phones without contracts or subsidies. In those markets iPhones are not available cheaply or free, but have to be bought at the full market price.

  5. Funny how this has to come from “analysts” isn’t it? Why is that? Oh, right. Because none of these companies seem to be confident enough in their actual figures to just release how many phones they sold.

  6. What’s true is that Samsung is a significant client of Strategy Analytics. It would take that influence for someone to refer to the Galaxy S4 as a hit. With low end smartphones as cheap as feature phones, everyone who is getting a new phone gets a smartphone, even if all they use it for is phone calls and voicemail. This is not a market segment Apple wants or should want, yet it is now included in the smartphone market. Samsung hits this market well, but that doesn’t mean they’re making money at it, just shipping a lot of phones.

  7. I actually question how many of these 1 billion phones actually sold, rather than were just spat out of the factories.

    They suggest that one in every 7 people in the world bought a smartphone in the past year, including the poorest people in the world. Eliminating the 1/3 of the global population that is under 15 or over 64, that makes 1 out of every 4.5 people in the world bought a smartphone last year, including the several billion people who can barely eat enough to keep them alive. It just doesn’t sound right….

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