Skip to main content

Smartphones were 62.7% of Mobile Shipments in 1Q14

Consumer electronics sales typically get a boost during the holiday season, leaving little demand for the following quarter of the new year. The worldwide smartphone market began this year with an expected retrenchment from holiday quarter shipment volumes, but still posted a year-over-year increase in the first quarter of 2014 (1Q14).

According to the the latest global market study by International Data Corporation (IDC), vendors shipped a total of 281.5 million smartphones worldwide, that's up 28.6 percent from the 218.8 million units in 1Q13 but down -2.8 percent from the 289.6 million units shipped in 4Q13.

The results beat IDC's forecast of 267.2 million units for the first quarter of 2014 by 5.3 percent.

In the worldwide mobile phone market (inclusive of smartphones), vendors shipped 448.6 million units -- that's up 3.9 percent from the 431.8 million units shipped 1Q13 but down -9.0 percent from the 492.8 million units shipped in 4Q13.

This is 0.6 percent lower than the 451.3 million units IDC had forecast for the quarter. Smartphones accounted for 62.7 percent of all mobile phone shipments in 1Q14 -- that's up from the 50.7 percent of all mobile phone shipments in 1Q13.


"The first quarter of the year typically brings sequential retrenchment from the holiday spending of the previous quarter," says Ramon Llamas, research manager at IDC.

He added, "The small difference between the two quarters points to sustained strong demand, driven by emerging markets, low-cost devices, and the proliferation of 4G networks. If this is how we start the year, then we can look forward to another record-breaking quarter at the end of the year."

The face of the smartphone market is changing rapidly to reflect the rise of its largest market, China, where a record 40 percent of the smartphones shipped worldwide in 1Q14 were bound to Chinese consumers.

In a quarter where most global shipments declined sequentially, China bucked the trend. The market benefited from its seasonal Lunar New Year uptick, greater emphasis on 4G devices following the December TD-LTE network launch, and the official launch of Apple at China Mobile resulted in volumes a third higher than 4Q13 levels.

The Global Market Outlook for Smartphones

IDC expects total smartphone shipment volumes to reach 1.2 billion units in 2014, up 19.3 percent year over year from the 1.0 billion units shipped in 2013. This marks a slowdown from the 39.2 percent growth seen in 2013.

The lower growth rate for 2014 should not be interpreted as a sign that the market has come as far as it can. In fact, there will be plenty to observe. Apple's entry into China is only the start of where it has yet to go.

The introduction of Nokia's Android-powered X-series as well as Microsoft's recently completed acquisition of Nokia marks a new era for both companies.

Numerous companies outside of Samsung and Apple, fueled by acquisitions and new strategies, will make a run at position and market share. In all, there are multiple dynamic trends in the making, which will make for an interesting year.

Popular posts from this blog

How a Digital-First CEO Leads Transformation

Some leaders reject the notion that "wait and see" is the best response to disruptive change. Savvy senior executives are already driving digital business transformation throughout their organization in an effort to gain a bold strategic advantage. According to the latest market study by International Data Corp (IDC), Digital-First CEOs plan to drive at least half of their income from digital business products, services, and experiences by 2027 -- that's ahead of the market average of 39 percent. Driven by their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, these business leaders have changed how they think about the relationship between business and technology, and how they approach the next digital transformation era -- from scaling digital technology to guiding a viable digital business. Digital Business Market Development IDC defines digital business as value creation based on technology, which entails: 1) Automated customer-facing processes and internal operations; 2) Provision

Digital Solutions for Industrial & Manufacturing Firms

Executive leaders of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) are seeking guidance on how to apply new business technology in their manufacturing operations. CIOs and CTOs are tasked with gaining insight into the best solutions for digital transformation. ABI Research evaluated the impact politics, regulation, the economy, supply chain, ESG, and technology are having on FMCG, pharma, producers of steel, chemicals, pulp and paper -- as well as the mining and oil & gas sectors. Digital Transformation Market Development "Our assessment found that the FMCG sector is under pressure from all sides," says Michael Larner, industrial & manufacturing research director at ABI Research . Securing raw materials is challenging considering lockdowns in China and limited grain supplies from Ukraine. Supply shocks are raising input costs, and operating costs are rising with higher energy costs coupled with the pressure to pay higher wages and work sustainably. "We all hoped that with th

Retail Transformation Gains New Momentum

Forward-thinking retailers now have a bright future. In contrast, those that failed to enhance their business model via digital transformation have struggled, declined, and their assets were eventually liquidated. The key difference between these two business outcomes is applied strategic foresight. Even as the world continues to emerge from a global pandemic, retail is growing at levels not seen in the last two decades. Retail sales grew by 7 percent in 2020 and by over 14 percent in 2021, which is in stark contrast to the 3.7 percent annual growth between 2010 and 2019. The increased demand for retail has put a strain on supply chains and retail operations worldwide. As a result, retailers and stakeholders are turning to automation solutions such as mobile robotics for operational ease. Retail Transformation Market Development According to the latest market study by ABI Research, worldwide commercial robot revenue in retail stores will have a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of o