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Smartphone shipments to reach 250M units in Q3

Posted: 04 Nov 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smartphone? iPhone? manufacturing?

TrendForce has revealed that smartphone shipments have been strong as several smartphone manufacturers introduced new devices in Q3. As Apple's iPhone 5S and 5C hits the market, Android makers such as Samsung, Sony, LG and less well-known Chinese brands are also releasing new smartphone models in H2. TrendForce projects smartphone shipments will reach 250 million units in Q3, representing 11.6 per cent QoQ and 36 per cent YoY, while yearly smartphone shipment volume is forecast at 940 million units, a 33.2 per cent increase over 2012.

Of the top ten smartphone brands worldwide, only Samsung, Apple and LG experienced shipment growth in Q3. Taking a look at Apple, TrendForce analyst Wilson Miao indicates the Cupertino company tried something new in Q3 due to unrelenting pressure from Android makers in H1; with the release of two iPhone models at once, Apple states it sold nine million smartphones within the first week. The smartphone maker calculated total iPhone sales at 33 million units for Q3. As the iPhone 5C's price tag is higher than previously expected, iPhone sales are only expected to grow 2.2 per cent in Q4, with a projected 46 million shipments.

Samsung broke records in Q3, shipping 78 million smartphones. Sporting 3GB of mobile memory and a 5.7in display, Samsung's Galaxy 3 differentiates itself from its Apple competitor. According to Miao, with a solid grasp on marketing channels and a clear price strategy, Samsung's dominance of the global smartphone market is unshakable for the time being.

Benefitting from strong domestic demand, Chinese smartphone makers experienced the highest shipment growth worldwide, with a 20.5 per cent increase in Q3. Supported by MediaTek and Qualcomm's reference design products, Chinese brands have been taking the domestic market by storm, producing devices with high price-performance ratios. Huawei came in first again in Q3, shipping 15 million smartphones, two million more than runner-up Lenovo. Miao noted, Huawei's performance on the domestic market is not particularly impressive. It is foreign market sales, which make up 30 per cent of the maker's shipments, that place Huawei a cut above its competitors and put the Chinese brand in third place globally.

The Chinese smartphone market will see the arrival of around 180 new models in 2H13. Although stocking for the October 1 national holiday was not as strong as in previous years, the top four smartphone manufacturers still managed to ship an average of about 10 million units in Q3. However, with tough competition when it comes to smartphone price, device makers' margins are not as high as they once were. Furthermore, as China continues to struggle with cash flow issues, small smartphone makers that are unable to achieve economies of scale are forced to withdraw from the market, with some staying on to provide low-cost manufacturing for large companies. TrendForce expects next year will see a wave of China's white-box smartphone makers exiting the market as they succumb to the pressures of competing against leading domestic and foreign brands.

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