Samsung dominates smartphone shipments in Q3

The smartphone market continues to grow. Research firm IDC has released shipment figures for the third quarter of 2013, and they show year-over-year growth of 38.8%. The 258.4 million handsets shipped in Q3 apparently marks a new record, beating the previous high from last quarter by 9%.

In terms of shipments and market share, Samsung is easily the leader. Here's a look at how the shipment figures stack up for the top five.

Vendor Shipments (millions)
Q3 2013 Q3 2012 Change
Samsung 81.2 57.8 40.5%
Apple 33.8 26.9 25.7%
Huawei 12.5 7.1 76.5%
Lenovo 12.3 6.9 77.6%
LG 12.0 7.0 71.4%
Others 106.6 80.5 38.8%

In the third quarter, Samsung shipped more smartphones than the rest of the top five combined. The Korean firm enjoyed higher shipment growth than Apple, which has a firm grip on the number-two spot. Huawei, Lenovo, and LG all experienced higher shipment growth than the top dogs, but their share of the market remains relatively small.

Vendor Market share
Q3 2013 Q3 2012 Change
Samsung 31.4% 31.0% 1.3%
Apple 13.1% 14.4% -9.0%
Huawei 4.8% 3.8% 26.3%
Lenovo 4.7% 3.7% 27.0%
LG 4.6% 3.8% 21.1%
Others 41.4% 43.3% -4.4%

Despite double-digit shipment growth, Apple's smartphone market share has actually declined since Q3 of last year. IDC credits budget handsets for driving much of the overall market growth, and Apple doesn't really play in that space. There's no word on average selling prices, which are sure to favor Apple.

As one might expect, BlackBerry didn't make the top five. Neither did Nokia, whose mobile shipments are largely made up of so-called feature phones that lack the smarts of modern handsets. HTC is also absent from the list, and it seems those well-known names aren't poised to break through. Chinese firms Coolmax and ZTE are reportedly nipping at LG's heels, though. We shouldn't be surprised; IDC says the Chinese market accounted for one third of smartphone shipments in Q3.

The research firm expects continued growth in Q4, and it says a billion smartphones could ship before the year is out. If that happens, yearly smartphone shipments will have doubled since 2011.

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