Around the globe, demand for access to the mobile internet has positively remained consistent throughout last year. Following a typical year-to-year upward trajectory, the global smartphone and phablet market began 2015 with a boost, compared to the same quarter in 2014.
Vendors shipped a total of 336.5 million smartphones worldwide in the first quarter of 2015 (1Q15), that's up by 16.7 percent from the 288.5 million units in 1Q14.
In the overall mobile phone market (smartphones plus feature phones), vendors shipped 458.9 million units worldwide, down a mere -0.1% from the 459.3 million units shipped in 1Q14, according to the worldwide market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).
"The challenge made by Apple for the top spot in the fourth quarter returned to a clear lead for Samsung in the first quarter -- despite the soaring global demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus," said Anthony Scarsella, research manager at IDC.
Apple's strong follow-up quarter was in itself surprising, as it enjoyed success thanks to consumers' insatiable appetite for larger screened iOS devices in many key markets, including Greater China. That said, China's overall year-on-year market growth in the quarter flattened significantly.
Through the rest of this year, according to the IDC assessment, they now expect all vendors to be squeezed on falling average sales price for all smartphones, while at the high-end it will be a battle between the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge from Samsung versus continued demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Smartphone Vendor Market Share Highlights:
Samsung remained the overall market leader thanks to stable demand for its Galaxy S series flagship smartphones overall, as well as increased shipments of lower-end models, particularly to regions like Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Samsung's improved streamlined portfolio of devices proved successful in many mid-tier markets that were typically dominated by local brands.
Apple continued to find success with larger screened iPhones, which produced its strongest second quarter ever with 61.2 million units shipped. Overall, the Apple iPhone grew 40 percent year over year and a remarkable 63 percent in emerging markets.
Lenovo is once again in the top three, proving that its Motorola acquisition is paying off nicely. Lenovo has strategically positioned both brands and the coinciding models in the proper markets to maximize brand awareness and global reach.
Huawei remained in the number four position with a continued push on premium devices from its P-Series and Honor portfolios. Huawei's mid-range and high-end models accounted for a third of its smartphone shipments in the first quarter, up from just 5 percent a year ago.
LG regained the number five spot worldwide from Xiaomi as it once again bet big on entry-level 4G enabled devices as well as focusing on the mid-tier in North America.