Global phone shipments dip 1% in first quarter 2013; Samsung on top with 29% of the market

Global phone shipments dip 1% in first quarter 2013; Samsung on top with 29% of the market
The latest numbers from Strategy Analytics are in and it shows a 1% dip in the number of mobile phones shipped globally in the first quarter to 372.7 million units, from last year's first three months. The research firm blamed what it called "tighter operator upgrade policies for 3G phones, and slowing volumes of 2G feature phones," along with the slow to no growth economies in North America, Asia and Europe.

With a 29% market share, Korean OEM Samsung shipped 106.6 million units led by the Samsung Galaxy smartphones. Following Samsung in the quarter was Finnish handset producer Nokia. It wasn't all rainbows and puppy dogs for the company as its mobile phone shipments slumped a resounding 25% to 61.9 million units from 82.7 million phones the previous year. Weak demand for featurephones and Symbian powered smartphones led to Nokia's downfall. Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, said that there is still hope for the manufacturer to stabilize or recover thanks to the potential of its Windows Phone flavored Nokia Lumia line, and the Nokia Asha series.

Apple just reported its fiscal Q2 earnings which included the news that it had shipped 37.4 million Apple iPhone units in the period. That was a small gain of 7% year-over-year. Strategy Analytics senior analyst Woody Oh had an interesting point when he said that Apple' s marketshare for handsets might have peaked and the company needs to launch new models and get a deal with China Mobile so that it can have access to the customers of the world's largest carrier. Just Thursday morning, Citigroup said that a TD-SCDMA version of the next iteration of the Apple iPhone and its low cost brother, will be launched in late September or early October for China Mobile.

Additionally, Korean tech giant LG saw its mobile phone shipments jump over 18% in the quarter, led by its LG Optimus smartphones. The company has been working on increasing shipments of its 4G LTE enabled smartphones. Lastly, China's ZTE had its lowest marketshare in three years with a 4% slice of the pie. The company is facing competition from the suddenly relevant Coolpad and from Samsung in Western Europe and in China.

source: StrategyAnalytics

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