Xiaomi Soars While Samsung Sinks in Gartner Smartphone Market Study

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-12-16
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Xiaomi Soars While Samsung Sinks in Gartner Smartphone Market Study
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    Xiaomi Soars While Samsung Sinks in Gartner Smartphone Market Study

    By Don Reisinger
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    Samsung Is in Serious Trouble With Smartphones
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    Samsung Is in Serious Trouble With Smartphones

    Samsung might still be the world's largest smartphone seller, but that might not last for long. During the third quarter of 2014, Samsung sold 73.2 million smartphones worldwide, according to research firm Gartner. While that was enough to nab 24.4 percent of the market, shipments were down from the 80.4 million Samsung sold in the third quarter of 2013. During that period, Samsung also had 32.1 percent market share. So this year's results are a shocking decline.
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    Samsung Feature Phones Sales Have Fallen, Too
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    Samsung Feature Phones Sales Have Fallen, Too

    As Samsung's troubles with smartphones intensify, the company's issues with feature phones are also proving concerning. Samsung sold 117 million feature phones during the third quarter of last year, but that figure fell to 94 million in the third quarter of 2014. Again, Samsung is still tops, but its position in the marketplace is not nearly as strong as it once was.
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    Nokia Is Falling by the Wayside in Mobile Phones
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    Nokia Is Falling by the Wayside in Mobile Phones

    Nokia, which will no longer operate under that name in the mobile market now that Microsoft has scrubbed that brand from its mobile devices, saw feature phone shipments fall considerably in the third quarter. The company sold 43.1 million feature phones in the third quarter, down from the 63 million it sold during the same period in 2013. Nokia also lost 4 percentage points of market share in the past year.
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    Apple's iPhone Continues to Soar
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    Apple's iPhone Continues to Soar

    Apple continues to be a powerhouse in the smartphone market. During the third quarter, Apple sold 38.2 million smartphones, making it the second-biggest smartphone maker and the third-largest handset maker worldwide. Although that amounted to just 12.7 percent market share in the smartphone market, Apple's sales were up nearly 8 million units year-over-year.
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    China's Xiaomi Is Growing Explosively
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    China's Xiaomi Is Growing Explosively

    Chinese mobile device maker Xiaomi, which has been able to attract customers by offering good-looking products at lower prices, has come on strong in the mobile space. During the third quarter of 2013, Xiaomi sold 3.6 million smartphones worldwide. During the same period this year, that figure jumped to 15.8 million units, securing the company fourth place worldwide and a 5.2 percent market share.
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    The Smartphone Market Is Gaining Ground
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    The Smartphone Market Is Gaining Ground

    The smartphone market continues to grow at an astounding rate. While the feature phone segment was static in total sales year-over-year, that wasn't the case for smartphones. During the third quarter of 2013, device makers sold 250.3 million smartphones. That figure was easily dwarfed by the 301 million smartphones sold during the same period this year.
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    BlackBerry Continues to Struggle
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    BlackBerry Continues to Struggle

    No surprise here, but BlackBerry had a rough third quarter of 2014. The BlackBerry operating system could capture only 0.8 percent of the mobile operating system market on 2.4 million sold units. In the third quarter of 2013, BlackBerry sales stood at 4.4 million units and a 1.8 percent market share. That's sobering news for BlackBerry.
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    Android Reigns Supreme in the Mobile OS Market
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    Android Reigns Supreme in the Mobile OS Market

    Android continues to be a juggernaut in the mobile space. The Google operating system secured 83.1 percent of the smartphone market in the third quarter on 250 million units sold. Android's 2013 market share stood at 82 percent on 205 million units sold.
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    Windows Phone Market Share Is Static
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    Windows Phone Market Share Is Static

    Windows Phone might have been somewhat of a disappointment for Microsoft during the third quarter. While Windows Phone device sales were up slightly from 8.9 million units last year to 9 million this year, the operating system's market share was down from 3.6 percent to 3 percent year-over-year.
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    Expect a Record-Breaking Q4 for Apple
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    Expect a Record-Breaking Q4 for Apple

    Looking ahead, Gartner says that the good times should continue for Apple. The iPhone maker is expected to have "its biggest ever fourth-quarter sales" in 2014, thanks to heavy demand Gartner is seeing for both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Meanwhile, Gartner says that Samsung's issues may only continue as that company's biggest market—China—increasingly turned its back on its smartphones. In the third quarter alone, Samsung smartphone sales in China were down 28.6 percent year-over-year.
 

If anything is certain, the future is bright for smartphone sales. Each month, market researchers release new studies showing that smartphone shipments continue to soar and device makers are generating more cash on those products than any other type of mobile phone. A recent study from research firm eMarketer even showed that in a few short years smartphones will outpace feature phones in total shipments. What's more, they won't look back: Feature phone shipments are expected to decline considerably in the coming years. But while all of that seems to be positive for the industry and phone makers, not every company is getting the kind of benefit they might hope to see. In fact, a recent study by research firm Gartner on the smartphone and feature phone markets during the third quarter shows that Samsung is in rough shape, with its smartphone shipments falling year-over-year. That stands in stark contrast to just about every other device maker, whose device shipments rose during the period. Gartner's findings provide an insightful look at where the smartphone market stands today, what companies performed best during the third quarter and how the market will evolve over the next few years. This slide show includes some of the findings of the recent market reports, including how device makers fared during the 2014 third quarter.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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