2013 Smartphone Shipments Pass 1bn Mark

Samsung Galaxy Note 3Global smartphone shipments for 2013 totalled 1.02bn units, a 43 per cent increase over 2012, according to figures from Futuresource Consulting. Tablet shipments increased by 57 per cent to 243m units.

“Strong Q4 sales helped drive annual growth,” said Futuresource market analyst, Oliver Rowntree. “90m units were shipped from October to December – an increase of 32 per cent over 2012. Among international brands, Apple and Samsung remain dominant, with 47 per cent of the market between them. Futuresource says it expects tablet market growth to slow slightly to 31 per cent in 2014, to reach 317m units, as prices level out.

The big increase in smartphone shipments has been driven by ever-increasing demand in emerging markets, particularly in Asia. China was the largest market globally, accounting for 310m units, with domestic brands such as Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE, Xiaomi and Coolpad dominating.

“Phablets – smartphones with five to seven inch screens – have become increasingly popular in 2013, demonstrating an increasing convergence of smartphones and tablets, and driving sales of slightly larger-screened tabletsm” said Rowntree. “However, overall market growth continues to be propelled forward by low-cost white label tablets manufactured in China and rebranded for sale in other markets and domestically, which made up 36 per cent of annual shipments. These cheap devices have also driven down the cost of branded Android tablets, with international brands such as Acer, Lenovo and Asus competing to produce sub-$100 tablets to expand their market share.”