According to DRAMeXchange, a division of global research firmTrendForce, in the first quarter of 2013 smartphone shipments increased steadily worldwide, with total shipments reaching 216.4 million units, 9.4% QoQ growth. Since the beginning of 2012, smartphone shipment figures have been up every quarter despite seasonality, indication the electronic device is here to stay.
Samsung Takes 30% of Global Market, iPhone Losing Ground
Looking at first-tier manufacturers’ shipment volumes, Samsung continues to take the lead in the first quarter as the maker uses its vertically integrated supply chain, global marketing, and various sales channels to its advantage. Samsung’s smartphones series is expected to see 65M units shipped this quarter, which accounts for 30% of the global market.
As for Apple, the iPhone 5 has been unable to satisfy consumers’ desire for innovation, and shipments were unsatisfactory as Android manufacturers have stepped up to the plate. The Cupertino company shipped a mere 37.5 million units in the first quarter, giving them 17.3% market share, a decrease of 1.2% from the previous quarter. Currently, circumstances surrounding the announcement of Apple’s new device are unclear, while Samsung, HTC, Sony, and other global corporations are planning product unveilings for the second quarter, which will likely lead to another dip in Apple’s shipments.
Samsung Takes All in China as Lenovo’s Results Disappoint
Turning to China’s smartphone market, Samsung is the leading brand in terms of both reputation and image, a fact reflected in the manufacturer’s sales figures. Initial estimates place Samsung’s smartphone shipments in China at 11.7 million units, giving the Korean maker a wide lead over other brands with approximately 17% of China’s smartphone market.
Other leading brands in China like Huawei, ZTE, and Lenovo were all affected in varying degrees, but on average China’s domestic brands saw a 5-15% decrease in sales in the first quarter. Lenovo, who had nearly caught up to Samsung in market share in the second half of 2012, experienced weaker sales than expected in the first quarter; at 7.6 million units, actual shipments were 15% less than projected.
As for the second quarter, although smartphone shipments will continue to grow, manufacturers are facing problems with component supply; for instance, the shortage of memory products like eMCP. Therefore, smartphone makers’ relationships with their suppliers will determine how strong their shipment volumes will be in the second quarter. Those with the best supplier ties will have an advantage going into the next quarter, while other makers will be left dealing with shortages.