updated 05:00 pm EST, Tue November 5, 2013
Samsung, Apple continue to dominate growing market
Samsung and Apple retained their spots atop the worldwide smartphone shipment charts in the third quarter, according to new figures from industry analysis firm Canalys. Canalys' new numbers showed up on Tuesday, revealing that the two tech giants together accounted for just under 50 percent of all smartphones shipped in the three months ending September 30. Huawei, Lenovo, and LG were the three closest competitors.
Apple and Samsung aren't just leading in terms of overall smartphone shipments; they are also taking more than the lion's share of profits in the segment. Previous studies have found that the two tech giants take 100 percent of the profit in the smartphone market, with all other competitors either losing money or breaking even.
Canalys' Q3 report showed nearly a quarter of a billion smartphones shipping worldwide, up 44 percent year-over-year. While market shares for iOS and Android devices grew only slightly year-over-year, Microsoft's Windows Phone platform increased its slice of the mobile market by four points.
The report also showed that most smartphone growth is occurring outside of the United States and other developed economies. The Greater China market - which includes China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan - continued to be the fastest growing market in the third quarter, expanding by 64 percent year-over-year. That market accounted for 100 million shipped devices. The Latin American market was the smallest in terms of units shipped - 19 million - but its 59 percent growth rate made it the second-fastest expanding market.
That news could be most encouraging to Microsoft, which recently bought Nokia, the company behind the low-end devices that have been responsible for driving much of Windows Phone's growth. It may also prove beneficial for Google and Android manufacturers, as the company's Android 4.4 KitKat was designed to run on less expensive, lower-power devices better tailored to those markets.
Also evident from the new figures was the increasing popularity of large-screened devices. More than 56 million units shipped in the third quarter - better than 20 percent of devices - bore screens measuring five inches or larger diagonally.