Global Smartphone Shipments Rise 25 Percent in Third Quarter

(Los Angeles Times/MCT) -

Global smartphone shipments topped 300 million units for the second quarter in a row, propelled by new phones and emerging markets.

Vendors shipped 327.6 million smartphones during the third quarter, an increase of 25.2 percent when compared with the same quarter a year earlier, according to new IDC data.

“Despite rumors of a slowing market, smartphone shipments continue to see record-setting volumes,” said Ryan Reith, program director of the research firm’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “We’ve finally reached a point where most developed markets are experiencing single-digit growth while emerging markets are still growing at more than 30 percent collectively.”

Reith noted that the challenge now is how manufacturers can make money on the devices, which are “quickly becoming commodity products.”

“Outside of Apple, many are struggling to do this,” he said.

Samsung remained the leader in the worldwide smartphone market but was the only company among the top five to see its year-over-year shipment volume decline. IDC said Samsung’s mid-range and low-end models drove its volume for the quarter; in the past, Samsung had long relied on its high-end devices, the firm said.

Samsung’s quarterly shipment volumes totaled 78.1 million units, an 8.2 percent decrease from a year earlier. Still, it accounted for a 23.8 percent market share, well ahead of Apple, which had a 12 percent global market share.

Rounding out the top 5: Apple, which posted its largest third-quarter volume ever; Xiaomi, which made the list for the first time; Lenovo; and LG.