The Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) smartphone market has continued on a strong upward trajectory. According to the IDC Asia/Pacific quarterly mobile phone tracker, vendors shipped 119 million units in the second quarter of 2013, up 10% sequentially and 75% from a year ago.
The strength of the smartphone market stands in stark contrast to the 7% sequential decrease of feature phones to 106 million, resulting in smartphones out-shipping feature phones for the first time in Asia Pacific, with a 53% share.
While Samsung Electronics continued to lead the smartphone pack, in another first, Apple fell out of the top-five in the region on the momentum of China-based players; Lenovo, Coolpad, Huawei and ZTE all out-shipped Apple in the quarter, IDC indicated.
Aside from the top-tier international brands or China brands that also ship globally like Huawei and ZTE, there is also a rising segment of homegrown brands, which as a group have been steadily rising in shipments and prominence. This group of players comprised 38% of second quarter volumes, up from 20% in the same quarter of 2012, and 7% in second-quarter 2011, IDC disclosed.
"There is clearly a market maturity story at play here, where the trends could not be more different between mature markets and emerging markets," said Melissa Chau, senior research manager with IDC AP's client devices team. "Seasonally, second quarter usually shows an uptick in mature markets, but this round shipments dropped by 12% quarter on quarter, while emerging markets increased by 13%."
"In emerging markets like China and India, IDC has seen many local competitors spring up, but only in the last few quarters have we seen them aggressively scale up, competitive on both price and hardware specs like bigger screens," Chau continued. "We are now hitting a place where there are smartphones for every price point, where the masses will benefit from the slew of players bringing in more options."