The popularity of smartphones shows no sign of slowing down around the world as 20% more handsets were sold through the last quarter compared to the previous period. The data (and a lot more besides) was compiled by reputed market researchers Gartner. The company found that 310 million smartphones have been shipped during the last three month period, while feature phones continue to tumble to obscurity thanks to more availability of budget smartphones.
Smartphones now take 66% of the market through the third quarter of 2014 and the feature phone market has decreased to 34%, but by 2018 Gartner predicts that only 10% of the market will be made up of feature devices. It comes as no surprise to see that Android dominated smartphone sales through the period, taking 83.1% of all sales which means 250 million Android handsets were sold. The platform has grown (despite its main player Samsung struggling) from the same period last year, when the OS accounted for 205 million units.
Apple’s iOS also grew to 12.7% of the market with 38.1 million iPhones sold, not bad at all considering the company has a vastly lower portfolio than Android. The big platform loser is Windows Phone; Microsoft’s operating system has moved more devices through Q3, but market share actually fell from 3.6% in 2013 to 3% this year. Samsung continues to be the leading smartphone vendor, but the Korean company’s problems in 2014 are continuing.
During the third quarter of 2013 the company held 25.7% of the market with 117 million smartphones sold, but this year Samsung now occupies 20.6% of the market, while sales slipped to 94 million units. Another loser was Nokia (or Microsoft as it is now), shedding 20 million units with 43 million smartphones sold over the last quarter, a big drop from 63 million through the same period in 2013. It is common knowledge that Chinese company Xiaomi has enjoyed growth this year and that is reflected in Gartner’s research.
The company increased its sales (mostly at the expense of Samsung) by a massive 336% and moved 15.7 million smartphones in the period. Apple also boosted its sales, with 38 million iPhones sold; a significant climb over the 30.3 million solid during the third quarter of 2013. The research shows there are plenty of companies vying for position of third biggest vendor behind Samsung and Apple. Chinese companies Huawei, Lenovo/Motorola, and Xiaomi are all staking a claim, while even LG is hanging around.