Emerging markets drive global smartphone sales up 19 percent: Gartner

Led by emerging markets like India, global smartphones sales to end users touched 336 million units in the March quarter, up 19.3% from the year-ago period, Gartner said today.


Led by emerging markets like India, global smartphones sales to end users touched 336 million units in the March quarter, up 19.3% from the year-ago period, Gartner said today.

According to the research firm, over 281.6 million units of smartphones were shipped worldwide in the first quarter of 2014.

"This growth was led by strong smartphone sales in emerging markets (excluding China); the fastest growing regions were emerging Asia/Pacific, Eastern Europe, and the Middle-East and North Africa," Gartner said in a statement.

Due to these high-performing regions, the emerging markets achieved a 40% increase in sales during the quarter.

In terms of overall mobile phone market (smartphone and feature phone), sales grew 2.5% to 460.2 million units in the reported quarter from 448.9 million units in March 2014 quarter.

Samsung led the market with 21.3% share, followed by Apple (13.1%), Microsoft (7.2%), LG Electronics (4.3%) and Lenovo (4.2%).

During the said quarter, local brands and Chinese vendors came out as the key winners (in smartphones) in emerging markets, Gartner research director Anshul Gupta said.

"These vendors recorded an average growth of 73% in smartphone sales and saw their combined share go up from 38% to 47% during the first quarter of 2015," Gupta added.

Samsung continued to see a decline in sales and share during the first quarter of 2015 at 24.2% (81.1 million units) from 30.4% share (85.5 million units) of smartphone sales in the year-ago period.

"We expect Samsung's drop rate to be slower than that seen in recent quarters with sales of its new S6 smartphones starting in the second quarter of 2015, and its Galaxy Alpha receiving good response," he said.

Apple continued to exhibit a strong performance in the quarter, particularly in China. iPhone sales were up 72.5% (60.17 million units) during the first quarter of 2015.

"Apple's extension into more Asian markets helped it close the gap with Samsung globally," Gupta said.

Lenovo, Huawei and LG Electronics followed in the smartphone tally with 5.6%, 5.4% and 4.6% share, respectively in the reported quarter.

PTI


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