Global mobile-phone shipments continue to escalate and an unexpected player joins the top 10 vendors, according to Strategy Analytics’ recently released report “Xiaomi Joins Top-Ten Rankings as Global Handset Shipments Hit 408 Million Units in Q1 2014”. Shipments jumped 9%—the highest rate since 2011. Overall, Q1 2014 saw 408 million units shipped versus 372.7 million in Q1 2013. Of the total mobile-phone shipments, smartphones accounted for 7 in 10.
Demand for 3G and 4G models across Asia, Africa, and other countries represent the primary driver of growth. However, growth in Asia was offset by rapid change in demand across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and North America. Second-tier brands have gained momentum, too. Brands to watch include Coolpad, Lenovo, TCL-Alcatel, and Xiaomi. The latter had a strong quarter, evidenced by its first-ever ranking as a top ten mobile vendor.
The top five mobile vendors are Samsung, Nokia, Apple, LG, and Huawei. Samsung grew 6% annually and shipped 113 million phones, landing 28% of the market in Q1 2014. However, Samsung’s growth slowed due to competition from Chinese vendors. Still, the company ships more phones worldwide than Apple, LG, and Nokia combined. Nokia claims 12% market share, shipping 47 million mobile phone worldwide, but still must fend off competition from Apple and other Android vendors. A key is new owner Microsoft, which will look to Nokia’s upgraded X phone to stabilize potential future decline.
Apple, LG, and Huawei round out the top five mobile vendors. Apple shipped 43.7 million iPhones worldwide in Q1 2014 for a 10.7% market share—a slight increase from the 37.4 million shipments in Q1 2013. LG had a varied quarter, capturing 4% of the market. It did well in Europe but performed weakly in China and India. Huawei captured a 3% share and is growing at twice the rate of the industry average. The company shipped 14.2 million mobile phones, with its 3G and 4G Android gaining popularity in Asia and North America.