Market Monitor : Q1 2014 :: Handset & Smartphone Markets Landscape

Counterpoint Research team of Analysts have completed preliminary sizing of the global handset and smartphone market as few OEMs have already released their Q1 2014 (Jan-Mar) performances. Following are our preliminary market share and rankings according to our quarterly Market Monitor service.

The key highlights of the quarterly performances so far include:



  • Handset shipments reached a record March quarter high of under half a billion units for the Q1 2014 quarter (Growth 9% YoY)
  • Smartphone shipments were slightly under 300 million units, a first quarter record  (Growth 28% YoY.)
  • Smartphone now represent 64% of all mobile phones shipped during the quarter (55% in Q1 2013) as feature phone demand is briskly shrinking across globally. Consumers can buy a new branded smartphone now for less than $50 and will be for under-$40 by year end
  • Demand across developed markets such as North America & Western Europe shrunk coming from a strong holiday season quarter while emerging markets continued to grow above industry average.
  • Our Market Pulse data suggests healthy sell-out volumes for Samsung, Xiaomi, however, some Chinese OEMs and Apple saw some inventory build up post-February which could affect their Q2’14 performance.


Overall Mobile Phones

Q1'14 Mobile Phones Shipments Share Summary

  • Samsung still ships a mammoth more than 100 million phones per quarter but growth  was down 1% annually & 8% sequentially. Feature phone shipments declined & tough competition in low-end but mid- to high-tier remained steady during the quarter
  • Nokia was the second largest OEM globally but declining feature phones and stagnating smartphone growth held back OEM. The growth down 16% YoY as the Devices & Services now will be part of Microsoft
  • LG, Huawei, Alcatel & Lenovo continued to fiercely contest for the fourth and fifth spots.
  • However, the biggest surprise was Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi which almost quadrupled its volumes with rising demand for its expanding portfolio & reach extending beyond the domestic market. This has allowed Xiaomi to enter the top 10 global handset brand during the quarter for first time ever capturing 4% marketshare
  • The long tail of Asian OEMs continued to grow moderately and below the industry average as they are high on consolidation curve with fight for survival in the fierce sub-$100 segment


Q1'14 Smartphones Shipments Share Summary

  • Samsung was the number one smartphone supplier during the quarter growing on par with industry average and hence maintaining its marketshare from a year ago but down from a high of 32% in Q3 2013
  • Apple grew to its highest ever volume for the March ending quarter but a slip in marketshare as it grew slower than industry. Apple with expanding channels in key markets such as Japan, India & China extended its iPhone mania beyond home market
  • Xiaomi jumped to sixth spot globally for the first time with impressive performance, guerrilla marketing, expanding portfolio at low-end and high-end and expanding beyond China during the quarter. As our Monthly Market Pulse research highlighted earlier in the quarter that Xiaomi’s two models enter the global top-sellers list for the February 2014 month.
  • Huawei remained the number three but we believe its going to be a tough fight between these Asian OEMs for the third spot in coming quarters. Channel expansion, pricing & differentiation will be the key to success
Neil is a sought-after frequently-quoted Industry Analyst with a wide spectrum of rich multifunctional experience. He is a knowledgeable, adept, and accomplished strategist. In the last 18 years he has offered expert strategic advice that has been highly regarded across different industries especially in telecom. Prior to Counterpoint, Neil worked at Strategy Analytics as a Senior Analyst (Telecom). Neil also had an opportunity to work with Philips Electronics in multiple roles. He is also an IEEE Certified Wireless Professional with a Master of Science (Telecommunications & Business) from the University of Maryland, College Park, USA.

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