Emerging markets driving smartphone growth in 3Q


Worldwide smartphone sales hit 15.5% growth in third quarter 2015, with Huawei recording highest growth

Continued demand for affordable smartphones in emerging markets drove worldwide sales of smartphones in the third quarter of 2015, according to research firm, Gartner. Global sales of smartphones to end users totalled 353 million units, a 15.5% growth over the same period in 2014.

“The availability of affordable smartphones in emerging markets saw consumers upgrade their ‘feature phones’ to smartphones more quickly because of the small price gap,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. “Smartphone sales in emerging markets rose to 259.7 million in the third quarter of 2015, an 18.4% growth over the third quarter of 2014, while sales in mature markets saw growth of just 8.2% over the same period.”

In the third quarter of 2015, Samsung refreshed its flagship devices just four months after its previous refresh to address slowing demand for its high end devices, and further compete with Apple’s large screen iPhones. Samsung’s third quarter units shipped to end users hit 83,586.7, up from 72,929.4 in the same quarter 2014, although its marketshare went from 23.9% in the third quarter 2014 down to 23.7% in the quarter this year, pushed by Apple and Huawei’s rising marketshares.

Apple continued its dominance in the premium segment of the smartphone market with its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models for most of the third quarter of 2015. The global launch of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus during the last week of September 2015, along with the simultaneous launch in China, further added to its overall sales during the quarter. Apple’s unit sales in the third quarter were 46,062.0, up to 13.1% marketshare, from 38,186.6 and 12.5% marketshare in the period last year.

Meanwhile, Huawei continued its growth momentum, driven by smartphone sales in both its home market and global markets, particularly Europe, where sales were driven by its ever-growing brand visibility. Its unit sales hit 27,262.3 this year in the third quarter, from 15,935.0 in the same period 2014, giving it a 7.7% marketshare from 5.2% last year.

In the smartphone operating system (OS) market, Apple’s iOS continued to see strong performance and grew 21%, above market average. It hit second place at 46,062 units for 13.1% marketshare in the quarter for smartphone sales to ends users, versus 12.5% in the same period 2014.

Android gained 1.4 percentage points in share year over year thanks to strong smartphone sales from Samsung and Huawei globally. Leading the table, Android third quarter smartphone sales were 298,797 units, far above Apple’s iOS. This gave Android 84.7% marketshare for the quarter, against 83.3% in the same period last year.

However, Windows smartphone marketshare, in third place, dropped from 3% to 1.7% year over year. “Despite the announcement of Windows 10, we expect Windows smartphone market share will continue to represent a small portion of the overall smartphone OS market as consumers remain attracted by competing ecosystems,” said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner. “Microsoft smartphones will mainly focus on driving value for enterprise users.”

Worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totalled nearly 478 million units during the third quarter of 2015, an increase of 3.7% from the same period in 2014. Continued growth in emerging markets helped bolster sales of local brands. As a result, Micromax Informatics cemented its place among the top 10 global mobile phone vendors worldwide, while Chinese brands such as ZTE, Huawei, Xiaomi, TCL Communication Technology, Oppo and BBK became increasingly aggressive in the emerging markets.


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