Chinese vendors Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo move in to the top five smartphone vendors
February 7th 2013. Canalys has published its final mobile phone shipment estimates across the 50 plus countries that it tracks. The total mobile phone market, at 438.1 million units, was flat year-on-year, while the worldwide smartphone market grew 37 per cent. Android smartphones accounted for 34 per cent of all phone shipments and iOS phones 11 per cent. Smartphones now represent almost 50 per cent of all the phones that shipped in Q4 2012.
In the smartphone market, Android handsets accounted for 69 per cent of the 216.5 million shipped.
Samsung had a very strong quarter, growing 78 per cent, while the Chinese vendors Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and Yulong all grew by triple-digit percentages.
Android’s share did, however, dip sequentially from 74 per cent as Apple’s share grew from 15 per cent to 22 per cent on the strength of the iPhone 5.
BlackBerry and Windows Phone shares remained unchanged sequentially at 4 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.
“BlackBerry, Microsoft and Nokia, as well as other Android vendors, have strategies and devices in place to attack, but the task is daunting to say the least,” said Pete Cunningham, Principal Analyst with Canalyst.
“When we look at the whole of 2012, Nokia remained the number three smartphone vendor, shipping 35 million units, but Apple in second place shipped 101 million more handsets.
First-placed Samsung shipped 74 million more than Apple – the gaps are colossal.
But there is still a big opportunity as smartphone penetration increases around the world.
Vendors left in the wake of the top vendors must at the very least improve their portfolios, time-to-market and marketing, as well as communicate their differentiators.
“Microsoft, BlackBerry and other new OS entrants, such as Mozilla, must make the OS switch as simple as possible and drive and localize their respective app and content ecosystems.”
Huawei took third place for the first time in Q4 and ZTE fourth.
As well as their home markets, they have been relatively successful in the USA, where ZTE was fourth and Huawei fifth, driven by their portfolios of low-cost LTE smartphones.
Even so, both vendors took less than five per cent share each there.
Sony fell out of the top five this quarter, and Lenovo moved in.
It was one of the fastest-growing smartphone vendors, growing 216 per cent year-on-year and shifting 9.5 million units to take fifth place.
“China made up 98 per cent of Lenovo’s shipments with a handful of emerging markets making up the rest. Its struggle to gain a foothold in markets outside of China means that it may be forced down the acquisition route – as it was with its PC business – hence the speculation about BlackBerry,” said Jessica Kwee, Analyst with Canalys.
In the largest phone market in the world, China, smartphones dominated shipments, making up 73 per cent of the market compared to 40 per cent a year ago.
Volumes of smartphones in China grew 113 per cent to 64.7 million units, with Samsung taking the top spot followed by Lenovo and Yulong.
Huawei leapfrogged ZTE by over a million units to take fourth place.
“China is a massive growth prospect, but Apple is not making the market share impact there that it is in other markets.”
“The lack of a device on the China Mobile network is a big drawback, combined with high price points.”
“Addressing these issues with the combination of a TD-SCDMA device and a cheaper model would open the flood-gates,” said Nicole Peng, China Research Director with Canalys.
Canalys is an independent analyst firm that strives to guide clients on the future of the technology industry and to think beyond the business models of the past. We deliver smart market insights to IT, channel and service provider professionals around the world. Our customer-driven analysis and consulting services empower businesses to make informed decisions and generate sales. We stake our reputation on the quality of our data, our innovative use of technology, and our high level of customer service.