One billion smartphones shipped last year

More than a billion smartphones were shipped in 2013, with Samsung and Apple heading up the list of manufacturers.

One billion smartphones shipped last year

The number, which represents handsets in retail or in the channel, not necessarily yet sold on to consumers, was up by 38% from 2012’s 725 million, according to IDC’s latest stats.

Within that market, smartphones have grown to overtake feature phones, grabbing 55% of shipments, up from 42% last year.

Samsung remains the global leader, with 31% market share – up by a point from last year in terms of share, but up by 43% in terms of shipments.

Apple slid from 19% to 15%, but held onto second place. The next three spots in the top five were held by Chinese firms Huawei, LG, and Lenovo.

“Among the top trends driving smartphone growth are large-screen devices and low cost,” said Ryan Reith, IDC analyst. “Of the two, I have to say that low cost is the key difference maker. Cheap devices are not the attractive segment that normally grabs headlines, but IDC data shows this is the portion of the market that is driving volume.”

“Markets like China and India are quickly moving toward a point where sub-$150 smartphones are the majority of shipments, bringing a solid computing experience to the hands of many,” he added.

While Samsung’s wider portfolio gives it a head start in emerging markets such as China, Apple recently signed a deal with China Mobile to sell iPhones in the country.

European stats

Separate stats from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech showed Android continued to dominate in Europe, with 69% market share over Apple’s 19%. Windows Phone holds the third position with 10%, a share that’s been flat for the past quarter.

“Unfortunately for Nokia the European smartphone market is only growing at 3% year on year, so success in this market has not been enough to turn around its fortunes – reflected in its recent disappointing results,” said Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

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