Though the tablet market grew at a stunning pace last year, the smartphone market is still finding new customers and growing at a steady pace.
Market research firm IDC has released a new report estimating that global smartphone shipments hit one billion during 2013. This represents an over 38% increase over the estimated 725 million smartphones shipped during 2012. Shipments during the holiday quarter alone totaled 284 million, up 24% from the estimated 229 million shipped during the fourth quarter of 2012.
“The sheer volume and strong growth attest to the smartphone’s continued popularity in 2013,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager for mobile phones at IDC. “Total smartphone shipments reached 494.4 million units worldwide in 2011, and doubling that volume in just two years demonstrates strong end-user demand and vendor strategies to highlight smartphones.”
According to IDC, smartphones made up over half (55.1%) of all mobile shipments during the last year. Overall mobile phone shipments increased just under 5% during 2013 to an estimated 1,822 million units.
Unsurprisingly, Samsung and Apple continue to lead the smartphone market, with Samsung accounting for over 31% of all smartphone shipments in 2013. Chinese brands such as Huawei and Lenovo are also rising market share, with Lenovo increasing its shipments nearly 92% year-over-year.
“Among the top trends driving smartphone growth are large-screen devices and low cost,” said Ryan Reith, program director for Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker at IDC. “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.”