Q3 2013 : Samsung Leads in 4 out of 5 Regions Globally in Mobile Phones

The worldwide mobile phones market grew 6% annually to reach a record third quarter shipments of 441 million units in Q3 2013 according to Counterpoint Research’s Quarterly Market Monitor Tracker.

China, India followed by Latin America were the fastest growing mobile phones market in the world contributing to a healthier penultimate quarter of 2013 compared to last year. The overall positive mobile phone industry growth can be attributed to robust smartphone demand globally. Smartphone segment grew 46% annually offsetting the slowing feature phone segment channel demand which dipped by 26% compared to the same quarter last year.

Samsung remained the leading mobile phone supplier globally shipping a record 120 million units during the quarter with 73% of those being smartphones. This has propelled Samsung’s global mobile phone market share to an all-time high of 27%, reversing tables with Nokia which enjoyed this position eight quarters ago.

Samsung continues to lead in four out of five mobile phones regions globally. One in three phones shipped in important developed markets of North America and Europe, is a Samsung phone. North America, Asia & Europe were the key growth markets during the quarter for Samsung, as Samsung captured share away from other OEMs such as Nokia, HTC, Motorola, Sony and ZTE.

Samsung has now cumulatively shipped more than 750 million mobile phones and almost half a billion smartphones since overtaking Nokia and Apple in mobile phones and smartphones segments respectively since Q1 2012. In comparison, Nokia shipped almost half a billion mobile phones and Apple shipped slightly under a quarter billion phones during the same period.

Consistent volume shipments growth and market share is helping the Korean vendor to grow its global mobile phones user base, a very important factor in today’s ecosystem wars. Though Samsung is quietly forming a huge global user base but it remains to be seen how locked-in and brand loyal these users are compared to that of Apple and if Samsung can develop ‘Applesque’ stickiness and stimulate this huge opportunity.

Samsung has the overall well rounded product mix in the industry and its helping Samsung capture healthy profits while growing big and fast. Samsung and Apple has devoured most of the mobile phone industry profits exercising enormous scale, vertical integration capabilities and marketing muscle leaving other brands with meager scale, revenues and profits.Samsung dominated almost all price bands except for the very high profit & super-premium $500+ which was of course Apple’s turf. However, Samsung was strong in the higher profit $400-$500 price band with almost 50% share and moderately higher profit $300-$400 price band with almost 60% share. Samsung also led the fastest-growing, intensely-competitive and the largest $50-$150 price band with almost 25% market share.


Figure 1: Global Mobile Phones Share1 by Region in Q3 2013

Counterpoint Research - Smasung Leads 4 out of 5 Regions in Q3 2013

 Source: Market Monitor Q3 2013

1 Regulated or Legitimate Mobile Phones Shipments only (not sell-out to end consumer). Tablets, PCs, dongles, fixed wireless devices not included. Grey, illegitimate or unregulated market phones also not included.


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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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