Apple loses #1 smartphone vendor crown to Samsung


After one quarter in second place, Samsung wins back title of world’s top smartphone manufacturer 

Samsung has once again become the top smartphone vendor in the world, just three months after it was announced it had lost the title to rival, Apple.

With 83.2 million smartphones shipments worldwide and 24% marketshare captured in the first quarter 2015, down from 31% a year earlier, Samsung overtook Apple to regain first position as the world’s largest smartphone vendor by volume, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.

In total, global smartphone shipments grew 21% annually from 285 million units in the first quarter 2014 to reach 345 million units in the first quarter of 2015. Linda Sui, director at Strategy Analytics, said: “Global smartphone growth on an annualised basis has slowed slightly from 33% to 21% during the past year, due to increasing penetration maturity in major markets of the US, Europe and China.”

Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, added: “Samsung continued to face challenges in Asia and elsewhere, but its global performance has stabilised sufficiently well this quarter to overtake Apple and recapture first position as the world’s largest smartphone vendor by volume. Apple shipped 61.2 million smartphones worldwide and captured 18% marketshare in first quarter 2015, rising from 15% in first quarter 2014. Apple’s new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models remain wildly popular in China and worldwide, as consumers upgrade to larger-screen phablets for enhanced data experiences.”

Lenovo-Motorola held on to third position globally with 5% smartphone marketshare in the first quarter 2015, but it has slipped from 7% a year ago. Lenovo is facing competitive pressure in the high growth China LTE category, while Motorola is struggling to expand in its core market of North America and its growth market of India.

Meanwhile, Huawei shipped a robust 17.3 million smartphones for 5% share and fourth position worldwide in first quarter 2015. Huawei is expanding rapidly online in China and through retailers across Africa, enabling it to become an emerging powerhouse in developing regions.

Also, global mobile phone shipments grew 8% annually from 411.8 million units in the first quarter 2014 to reach 445 million units in the first quarter of 2015. Apple was the star performer, as it jumped from 11% to 14% marketshare in the past year, due to strength in China.

Woody Oh, director at Strategy Analytics, said: “Smartphones accounted for eight in 10 of total mobile phone shipments during the quarter. The 8% growth rate of the overall mobile phone market is being driven by healthy demand for 3G and 4G models across Asia, Africa and the Americas.”

Samsung dipped 12% annually on mobile phone shipments and shipped 99 million mobile phones worldwide, capturing 22% marketshare in the first quarter 2015.

Mawston added: “Samsung continues to face tough competition from Apple, but recent strong demand for its new Galaxy S6 devices indicates Samsung could deliver an improved performance in the coming second quarter of this year. Apple soared 40% annually and shipped 61.2 million mobile phones for 14% worldwide marketshare in the first quarter 2015. Apple’s new iPhone 6 portfolio is flying off the shelves in China and the US, its two biggest markets.”

Microsoft shipped 33.7 million mobile phones worldwide in the first quarter, down 28% from 47 million a year earlier. Microsoft’s 8% global mobile phone marketshare is sitting near an all-time low. Microsoft continues to lose ground in feature phones, while its Lumia smartphone portfolio is in a holding pattern awaiting the launch of new Windows 10 software later this year.


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