Smartphone share by region in Q1

Samsung leads the smartphone market in all regions except North America

Counterpoint Technology Market Research (Counterpoint Research hereafter), the go to source of smartphone market data, has released its regional smartphone data and forecast for the first quarter of 2013.

Global smartphone leader Samsung again leads in all major regions except North America. North America remains Apple’s domain as it extends its lead in the market. Apple took 38% of the North American market up from the same period last year; the iPhone 5 sold more than 8 million units in the quarter. But Samsung’s smartphone models accounted for more than 30% of the top models sold during the quarter. Samsung’s share is growing strongly as it lifted its share to 28% in 1Q’13 from 20% in 2011. We expect Samsung to finally take the crown from Apple in North America during the second quarter this year.

Samsung dominated all other regions and its biggest lead came in Europe where it took a whopping 44% share of the market. In markets including the UK, France and Russia, Samsung eclipsed all other brands. The Galaxy S III showed strong numbers as it reached the end of its life cycle during March but the real star in Europe was the Galaxy S III mini. Apple was No. 2 with 20% share but 3rd spot was not Nokia but Sony surprisingly.
Samsung was also strong in Latin America with 41% share as its new Galaxy Grand started to sell almost as well as the Galaxy Y and Galaxy S Duos. LG was in second place in Latin America as the Optimus L series such as the L5 and new L5 II were popular. Sony was again in third place instead of long -time leader Blackberry as the low cost Xperia Tipo proved to be a winner.

Asia the largest market of all regions was again Samsung’s territory but with only 30% share. The swarm of local tier 2 vendors took the market by surprise as the combined share of brands selling less than 1 million units a quarter grew to 18%. This is a tremendous jump from 3% during the same quarter last year. Most of these phones are powered by Mediatek’s technology. Apple claimed second in Asia thanks to the iPhone’s popularity in China and Japan, but it is marginal in other Asian markets due to the product’s high price. The Chinese trio Lenovo, Huawei and ZTE followed continue to perform strongly in the region.

Commenting on the results, Counterpoint Research Director, Peter Richardson stated, ‘Nokia’s continued smartphone share loss is in stark contrast to Samsung that is performing strongly enough to take the top spot in all regions including North America during the second quarter of 2013.’

Counterpoint’s upcoming monthly smartphone report for April and May will provide early indications of the trend for 2Q13.

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