Top 10 Handsets in October

Apple’s iPhone 5s is the world’s bestselling phone for two months in a row now

According to Counterpoint’s Monthly Market Pulse report for October 2013, Apple’s iPhone 5s continued to be the bestselling phone globally during October. iPhone 5s sales saw an upward sales momentum as Apple continued expansive roll-out for its flagship model thus further widening the gap with its arch rival’s flagship model Samsung’s Galaxy S4. Apple’s iPhone 5s topped the best-seller’s list despite the component shortages causing long waiting periods in several channels. However, we expect supply constraints to ease resulting in supply to meet a relatively stronger demand in November & December.

– iPhone 5s pushes Apple’s share up in US, Japan and now China

Apple’s iPhone 5s helped Apple surpass Samsung in the US as well as maintain its leadership position in the Japanese smartphone market during October. Apple’s smartphone marketshare climbed to 12% mark in China in October, instantly making it the 3rd largest smartphone player in the market up from a modest 3% share in September. Although the iPhone 5s didn’t attract long queues outside Apple retails stores as the iPhone 4S did couple of years ago but it definitely was more successful compared to what iPhone 5 registered in terms of overall sales in a month. Also, with China Mobile deal on the horizon, Apple iPhone 5s at all three carriers will for sure ignite a ‘price war’ boosting the overall iPhone 5s sales in China. This might allow Apple to even reach the No. 1 smartphone player in December or January in China.

Counterpoint Research - Apple 12 Percent Smartphone Share in China in Oct 2013
– Samsung, Nokia, Huawei and TCL-Alcatel showing good signs in October

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S4 sales saw a temporary uptick due to a price discount in some markets during October. However, with Galaxy Note III capturing the limelight, it has pushed Galaxy S4 towards the end of its ‘flagship lifecycle’. Galaxy S4 sales continued to lose its mojo after enjoying roughly 9 months of flagship lifecycle. Whereas, Galaxy Note III sales rose fast during the month as the phablet became the fifth bestseller only after 40 days of launch which is exceptional performance for a device perceived to be niche. Samsung’s products took about half of the top 10 list and the top 20 list as it exercised its marketing and distribution muscle to sell its broad and deep Galaxy smartphone portfolio. Few of Nokia’s Asha phones also were in the top 20 list alongside the hit Lumia 520 which drove the Windows Phone momentum across prepaid markets of Europe, US and Asia during October.

Meanwhile, TCL-Alcatel and Huawei had one device each in the top 20 bestselling list. Based on the October performance and channel trends we estimate TCL-Alcatel and Huawei will be the fastest growing brands in Q4 2013 surpassing the growth of domestic rivals Lenovo and ZTE. Both the vendors are doing well in Latin America, Asia and will benefit from expanding channels across Europe and North America.

Top 10 smartphone list of October 2013
Rank Brand Model Category
1 Apple iPhone 5S smartphone
2 Apple iPhone 5 smartphone
3 Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone
4 Apple iPhone 5C smartphone
5 Samsung Note III smartphone
6 Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone
7 Samsung Galaxy S 4 mini smartphone
8 Nokia 105 feature phone
9 Samsung Galaxy S III mini smartphone
10 Nokia Asha 501 feature phone

(table source: Monthly Market Pulse October 2013)
* All regional or minor hardware variations included in each model.

1 Mobile Phones Sales only (not shipments). Tablets, PCs, dongles, fixed wireless devices not included. All regional or minor hardware variations included in each model.

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Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in Technology products in the TMT industry. It services major technology firms and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analysis of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are experts in the industry with an average tenure of 13 years in the high tech industry.