IDC: people are still buying smartphones in their billions

The rate at which smartphones ship is incredible. And with more and more people joining the list of smartphone owners, the shipment of phones is going to grow. Not only that but it appears it is influencing the invention of cheaper handsets with manufacturers casting their nets wider instead of making only premium models. In the latest preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Phone Tracker, smartphone vendors shipped a total of 399.5-million units during the fourth quarter of 2015, recording a 5.7% year-on-year growth.

In the year 2015, according to the IDC, a total of 1432.9-million units were shipped worldwide, recording the highest year of shipments in history, up by 10.1% from the 1301.7 million units shipped in 2014.

In Q4 2015, Samsung retained the top spot in the worldwide smartphone market, commanding 21.4% market share with 85.6-million units shipped, up by 14% from last year. In the year 2015, the Korean giant maintained its lead there too and shipped 324.8-million units. This is an increase of 2.1% from the 318.2-million shipments in 2014.

Read more: We’re buying more devices, but spending less on them

Apple remained in second place, hitting a new record of 74.8 million units shipped, an increase of 1% from the 74.5 million it shipped last year and an 18.7% market share. Apple’s 2015 total market share climbed to 16.2%, up from 14.8% in 2014, with 231.5 million shipped in the year. This represents 20.2% growth from the 192.7 million units shipped in 2014. Remarkably for the Cupertino based tech giant, its China growth of 18% was made up of 50% first time iPhone users, proving that maybe it is developing markets where it should be focusing. India also posted a growth of 76%.

Huawei, the Chinese manufacture, was the biggest winner in the quarter, fueled by its introduction of mid range and high end smartphones. At 37%, Huawei had the strongest year-over-year growth among the top five vendors. The Chinese manufacturer achieved another milestone. It became the fourth mobile phone vendor, after Nokia, Samsung and Apple, in history to ship over 100 million smartphones in a year.

In the fourth position is Lenovo, shipping 20.2 million units in the Q4.

Read more: Apple Q1 results a mixed bag, iPhone sales at 74.8m, iPad sales drop, revenue up

Xiaomi, another Chinese manufacturer in the top five, dominated mostly in its hometown, China, despite launching in new markets like India, Brazil and South Africa. Xiaomi shipped 18.2 million units with a 4.6% market share.

In the overall stats for 2015, smartphone shipments were lead by Samsung with 324.8 units, Apple with 231.5, Huawei with 106.6, Lenovo with 74.0, Xiaomi with 70.8 and others shipping a combination of 625.2.

“With heavy saturation in many mature smartphone markets such as the U.S., Europe, and China, many vendors have placed a renewed focus on pushing premium-looking mid-tier devices as a new value proposition to consumers in both developed and emerging markets. Samsung has found success in this segment with its A-Series, and Huawei with its Honor brand” said Anthony Scarsella, Research Manager with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker



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