"The opposite end of the spectrum is just as, if not more, interesting,"
added Llamas. "Lower-priced smartphones continue to gain traction, but
the key for vendors will be to keep prices low while still offering
premium devices and services. We fully expect to see large-screen
smartphones and other flagship devices establish a presence within the
lower-priced smartphone segment as well."
Smartphone Vendor Highlights
Samsung, on the heels of its Galaxy S4 launch during the quarter, saw its volumes reach new levels and accounted for nearly a third of the entire smartphone market. Not to be overlooked is the continued success of its Galaxy S III smartphones, which saw renewed interest following discounted prices in advance of the Galaxy S4 launch. By the end of the quarter, Samsung more than doubled the total volumes of the next largest vendor, and shipped more units than the next four vendors combined.
Apple posted its second-lowest year-over-year iPhone growth rate in almost four years as some buyers presumably held off on iPhone purchases in advance of an expected next-generation device launch this fall. Nonetheless, the figure of 31.2 million iPhones Apple shipped last quarter was impressive as its flagship iPhone 5 model, which has been in the market for three quarters, was faced with additional global competition in the form of Samsung's Galaxy S4 and HTC's critically-acclaimed One models. Apple's growth is likely to accelerate globally assuming it launches a lower-cost iPhone and continues to penetrate prepaid markets in the quarters to come.
LG sustained its momentum from the first quarter of 2013 with total shipments more than double the volume from a year ago for the second consecutive quarter and stayed slightly ahead of the competition to retain the number 3 position. More importantly, the company realized a profit from its steady diet of Android-powered smartphones, a feat that very few Android vendors have been able to realize. Now that LG has reinvigorated its product portfolio with the Nexus 4 and the Optimus G Pro, the company is aiming to branch out further into the high end with its upcoming G2, and into the mass market with its L-Series II and F-Series smartphones.
Lenovo returned to the smartphone Top 5 after a two-quarter absence, reaching double-digit shipments in the process. Its volume for the quarter was driven in large part by shipments to 3G operators in
ZTE finished among the smartphone leaders for the fourth straight quarter thanks to its success in the
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