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Smartphone sales surge; Smartphone apps score over tablets

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MUMBAI: Here‘s some food for thought. Even as Nokia is betting on its 1O5 $20 phone to ramp up its sales worldwide, IDC last week reported that sales of smartphones in Q1, raced ahead of sales of simple or feature phones for the first time in mobile phone history.

According to market research firm, International Data Corp (IDC), vendors shipped a total of 418.6 million mobile phones in Q1 compared to 402.4 million units in the first quarter of 2012 and 483.2 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012.

In the worldwide smartphone market, vendors shipped 216.2 million units in Q1 2013, which marked the first time more than half (51.6 per cent) the total phone shipments in a quarter were smartphones. The market grew 41.6 per cent compared to the 152.7 million units shipped in Q1 2012, but 5.1 per cent lower than the 227.8 million units shipped in Q2 2012.

 

The big trend in Q1 is the emergence of Chinese companies in the Top five smartphone vendors list. Huawei and ZTE hawked 9.9 million units and 9.1 million units each in Q1 2013.

Top Five Smartphone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, 2013 Q1 (Units in Millions)

Vendor

Q1 2013 Unit Shipments

Q1 2013 Market Share

Q1 2012 Unit Shipments

Q1 2012 Market Share

Year-over-year Change

Samsung

70.7

32.7%

44.0

28.8%

60.7%

Apple

37.4

17.3%

35.1

23.0%

6.6%

LG

10.3

4.8%

4.9

3.2%

110.2%

Huawei

9.9

4.6%

5.1

3.3%

94.1%

ZTE

9.1

4.2%

6.1

4.0%

49.2%

Others

78.8

36.4%

57.5

37.7%

37.0%

Total

216.2

100.0%

152.7

100.0%

41.6%

If one looks at the chart above, Samsung sold more smart handsets than the rest of the four in the top 5 combined.

Samsung‘s reign in the top five overall mobile phone shipment chart got stronger in Q1 with its share of shipments rising to 27.5 per cent. Nokia, however, saw its share dropping a quarter to fall to 14.8 per cent. Apple too reported single digit growth rates during Q1.

Top Five Total Mobile Phone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, 2013 Q1 (Units in Millions)

Vendor

Q1 2013 Unit Shipments

Q1 2013 Market Share

Q1 2012 Unit Shipments

Q1 2012 Market Share

Year-over-year Change

Samsung

115.0

27.5%

93.6

23.3%

22.9%

Nokia

61.9

14.8%

82.7

20.6%

-25.1%

Apple

37.4

8.9%

35.1

8.7%

6.6%

LG

15.4

3.7%

13.7

3.4%

12.4%

ZTE

13.5

3.2%

16.2

4.0%

-16.5%

Others

175.4

41.9%

161.1

40.0%

8.9%

Total

418.6

100.0%

402.4

100.0%

4.0%

 

What does the surge in sales mean for those of us in entertainment? Clearly, that mobile phone users are seeking more and more out of their handsets. They have simply moved beyond being just devices to be used as a long-distance talking tool.

Kantar Media‘s latest proprietary TGI Clickstream study, with data collated from October 2011 to September 2012, has revealed that the smartphone is the device that consumers prefer as their pocket companion, even though tablets sales have been climbing crazily worldwide .Says Kantar Media‘s TGI International head Geoff Wicked: "There‘s no denying that more and more people are purchasing tablets for both business and personal use, but the fact remains that there are a billion smartphones on the planet, and tablet sales are still in their millions. While tablets will continue to become both more accessible and more sophisticated, the smartphone is still considered the all-round communications device that stays with a user for nearly 24 hours a day."

Kantar Media has been running a showcase theatre session at the Festival of Media Global, which is ending today Montreux, Switzerland.

According to the Kantar Media study, social networking is the most popular type of smartphone app, with 37 per cent of smartphone web users surveyed saying they had downloaded a social networking app in the past twelve months. While this was the second most popular kind of tablet app, just half that amount (18 per cent) of tablet web users surveyed had downloaded a social networking app in the past twelve months.

The biggest gap was evident across health and diet apps, which were downloaded by 11 per cent of smartphone web users but just 3 per cent of tablet web users - a difference of more than triple. The smallest gap was for property apps - downloaded by 4 per cent of smartphone web users and 3 per cent of tablet web users.

Music, the fourth most popular type of app across users of both devices, was downloaded by more than double the amount of smartphone web users compared with tablet web users (25 per cent vs 11 per cent). Obviously, who wants to carry a clunky tablet with her when she is jogging around Central Park in New York or taking a walk in Lodhi Gardens in New Delhi. Similar results were revealed for mapping apps, which are the fifth most popular across both user types, but are downloaded by 22 per cent of smartphone web users compared with 11 per cent of tablet users.

Mobile apps downloaded October 2011 to September 2012 (% of smartphone web users)

Tablet apps downloaded October 2011 to September 2012 (% of tablet web users)

Social networking - 37%

Entertainment (games, digital books etc) - 19%

Entertainment (games, digital books etc) - 32%

Social networking - 18%

Music - 25%

News/weather - 15%

News/weather - 27%

Music - 11%

Maps - 22%

Maps - 11%

Shopping - 18%

Shopping - 10%

Lifestyle - 11%

Lifestyle - 8%

Health and diet - 11%

Sports - 7%

Sports - 18%

Health and diet - 3%

Property - 4%

Property - 3%

Other practical apps - 20%

Other practical apps - 10%

Other - 12%

Other - 4%

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