Staff Reporters
Jan 28, 2013

Huawei rises into top five in IDC's latest smartphone-market report

GLOBAL - Hauwei landed among the top five worldwide vendors in the smartphone category for the fourth quarter of 2012, as smartphone shipments grew 36.4 per cent year-over-year, according to International Data Corp (IDC) in its latest Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report.

Huawei rises into top five in IDC's latest smartphone-market report

According to the market research company, the overall mobile-phone market grew 1.9 per cent year-over-year in Q4 2012, with vendors shipping a total of 482.5 million mobile phones, compared with 473.4 million in Q4 2011. For the full year, the global mobile-phone market grew 1.2 per cent on shipments of more than 1.7 billion phones.

To the surprise of no one, smartphones attained their highest percentage of total shipments to date, representing 45.5 per cent of all mobile phones shipped in the fourth quarter and racking up 36.4 per cent year-on-year growth. For the full year, 712.6 million smartphones were shipped—44.1 per cent more than in 2011.

Huawei rose to the third position in IDC's list of the top smartphone vendors for the fourth quarter (see below), with its shipments increasing 89.5 per cent over Q4 2011. That came at the expense of HTC, which dropped from the top five (but remains at fourth on the full-year list, also below, where Huawei does not appear). In addition, Huawei displaced a rival in the broader mobile-phone category, where it attained the fifth spot, knocking out LG, according to IDC. 

The smartphone market, though it is of course dominated by Samsung and Apple, presents "ample opportunities for challengers," said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst. Vendors with unique market advantages such as lower cost can rapidly gain market share, especially in emerging markets, he added.

Underlining the point, ZTE also performed well in Q4 2012, with shipment growth of 48.4 per cent landing it in the fifth spot among smartphone vendors.  

"The fact that Huawei and ZTE now find themselves among the Top 5 smartphone vendors marks a significant shift for the global market," noted Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team. "Both companies have grown volumes by focusing on the mass market, but in recent quarters they have turned their attention toward higher-end devices. In addition, both companies have pushed the envelope in terms of industrial design with larger displays and smaller form factors, as well as innovative applications and experiences."


Top Five Smartphone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share
Q4 2012
(Units in Millions) 

Vendor 4Q12 Unit
4Q12 Market
4Q11 Unit
4Q11 Market
1. Samsung 63.7 29.00% 36.2 22.50% 76.00%
2. Apple 47.8 21.80% 37 23.00% 29.20%
3. Huawei 10.8 4.90% 5.7 3.50% 89.50%
4. Sony 9.8 4.50% 6.3 3.90% 55.60%
5. ZTE 9.5 4.30% 6.4 4.00% 48.40%
Others 77.8 35.50% 69.2 43.10% 12.40%
Total 219.4 100.00% 160.8 100.00% 36.40%

Source: IDC


Top Five Smartphone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share
Calendar Year 2012
(Units in Millions)

Vendor 2012 Unit Shipments 2012 Market Share 2011 Unit Shipments 2011 Market Share YOY Change
1. Samsung 215.8 30.30% 94.2 19.00% 129.10%
2. Apple 135.9 19.10% 93.1 18.80% 46.90%
3. Nokia 35.1 4.90% 77.3 15.60% -54.60%
4. HTC 32.6 4.60% 43.6 8.80% -25.20%
5. Research In Motion 32.5 4.60% 51.1 10.30% -36.40%
Others 260.7 36.50% 135.3 27.50% 92.70%
Total 712.6 100.00% 494.6 100.00% 44.10%

Source: IDC



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