Canalys: Android took 79% smartphone market share in 2013

Canalys has published its final smartphone shipment estimates for the 50-plus countries that it tracks. Just shy of 1 billion handsets (998 million) shipped in full year 2013, a 44% increase on 2012. Android’s unit share grew with the platform running on 79% (785 million) of the devices shipped in 2013, up from 68% in 2012. Conversely, Apple’s iOS unit share fell from 20% to 15%, despite shipments increasing to 154 million. Microsoft saw a percentage point share rise to 3% as shipments increased 90% in 2013 to 32.1 million, driven by Nokia’s Lumia devices, and putting it ahead of BlackBerry, at 19.8 million. Samsung also performed strongly in 2013 and strengthened its position as the world’s leading smartphone vendor. Its market share jumped from 30% in 2012 to 32% in 2013. With Apple in second place, Huawei edged past Lenovo to claim third place, albeit by fewer than 5 million units.

Some 292.8 million smartphones shipped in the fourth quarter of 2013. Contrary to what it achieved in 2013 as a whole, Apple gained market share in Q4, rising from 13% to 17% sequentially, chiefly at Samsung’s expense. Samsung itself achieved a market share that was flat on Q4 a year ago at 29%, but down from 34% sequentially. Huawei held third place in Q4, as it did in Q3, which helped it take third place for the full year too. While China continues to account for the vast majority of its shipments, growth has been helped by success in the Middle East and Africa.

Lenovo’s recent Motorola deal will increase competition. The acquisition will bring challenges, but Lenovo’s management credibility and global brand recognition give it a head start. ‘A strengthened Lenovo will affect all the other Android partners. Asus, LG and Samsung have enjoyed high-profile partnerships with Google for the supply of its Nexus phones and tablets. Nexus supply will now presumably pass to Lenovo, which also gains an immediate entry into the US, Motorola’s major market, as well as key markets in Western Europe and Latin America,’ said Palo Alto-based Canalys VP and Principal Analyst, Chris Jones, in a statement. Lenovo, Motorola and Google combined accounted for 6% of worldwide Q4 smart phone shipments. ‘Lenovo must continue with Motorola’s speed-of-update strategy and ensure it can create pull for its smart phones through the carrier channel in mature markets when up against the might of Apple and Samsung. We expect Lenovo to double its worldwide smart phone market share within two years and achieve double-digit market share by 2015 at the latest,’ Jones added.

In OS terms, Windows Phone saw the fastest year-on-year growth among the major platforms, at 69%, despite a modest sequential decline of 6% from Q3 2013. This compares favorably with Android shipments, which grew 54% and iOS shipments, which grew 7%.

Canalys: smartphone shipment estimates 2012 vs. 2013

‘The soft end to the year stopped Microsoft from achieving still more positive growth,’ said Shanghai-based Canalys Analyst, Jingwen Wang, in a statement. ‘Market uncertainty and caution affected Nokia’s performance in Q4, with Microsoft’s acquisition of its devices business yet to complete, as did arguably insufficient marketing, as Nokia and Microsoft failed to stimulate sufficient demand for the latest Lumia products to deliver a seasonal sales boost. With Lumia accounting for such a dominant portion of Windows Phone shipments, the growth of the OS faltered too. It will be vital that on completion of the acquisition, integration takes place quickly and thoughtfully. Microsoft has much to do if it is to continue carving out a growing share of the smart phone market, not least driving the platform down to new entry-level price points, delivering innovation and new features, particularly at the high-end, and proactively working with, supporting and encouraging developers to commit to building compelling apps, and bring its app story closer to parity with its competitors. It cannot afford lengthy delays or distractions, and the combined Windows Phone devices team needs to hit the ground running.’

Source: Canalys


  1. Of Androids percentage of “SMARTPHONES” ….. What percentage “SOLD” are true “SMARTPHONES?”. In addition what is the true definition of a “SMARTPHONE?” There are many variables to this simple question. More to the point what & who defines the definition of a handheld computer? Let the SPIN begin.

    1. Considering that “smartphone market” is fake concept, the only important thing is mobile phone market, and Apple’s share there grows every time, every quarter, every year.

      In Q4, Apple’s mobile phone market share grew 6.5%, while Samsung declined 1%.

    1. “The number of iPhone next time buyers is increasing rapidly.”

      I call bullsh*t to that . . . and my family is, and has always been, COMPLETELY Apple. We’re all whistling past the graveyard here, folks. Kiss your retirement portfolio goodbye if it contains AAPL. (Ours does a lot.)

      1. Actually he’s quite correct, tyrone. Stats show that a large chunk of first time android smartphone buyers buy an iPhone the next time (apparently were sold a phone that just didn’t live up to what the carrier sales guy promised)
        And, before you ask, no the reverse is almost never true. Once you have owned an iPhone almost none will settle for android.

        1. Your last statement is far from the truth, in the last year I have seen almost everyone I know who had iPhones including myself sell their iPhones and move to other phones. The main reason has been screen size, but battery life and lots of problems with sound have also been quoted. Without an exception every one has said they could not go back to a smaller screen, love and are getting used to

  2. So how much of the 79% of the buyers were buying on price alone? My guess is 78%. The remaining 1% being the geeks that think buying an Android phone provides more freedom than an iOS phone. BWAHAHAHA

  3. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Android sucks. Apple is great. And yet, for those who dare to put their money where their mouths are, GOOG is up another 2.57% today (+28.47 to 1139.35) and AAPL is down another .26% (-1.131 to 499.44).

    There is no balm in Gilead, folks. And no good news for Apple. None. Keep cheering, everyone (as I am), but put away your checkbooks for this company.

  4. I persist in proposing that any overall market share figure for “Android” is bullshit anyway. In a very really sense, there are numerous INCOMPATIBLE operating systems and iterations of those operating systems that all started from the common ancestor – Android.

  5. No idea where the stock is headed. They meet their projections but not Wall Street’s so they are punished. All I know is that even though Carl Icahn is a took, he did just buy half a billion more in Apple.

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