According to Gartner, Android made up 81.9 percent of the smartphone market in Q3 2013, which is a 9.3 percent rise compared to a year earlier. In comparison, Apple’s sales dropped by 2.2 percent, to and it kept only 12.1 percent of the market. Microsoft’s WP8 grew 1.3 points but remained at only 3.6 percent of the market.
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Lenovo made a big push with its Android phones, and it climbed to #1, passing LG. Lenovo has made it known before that they see the smartphone market as the next growth sector for them and they want to become a lot more aggressive in the smartphone market, by increasing their product line-ups, paying more for advertising, and possibly even acquiring some mobile companies (they’ve kept their eyes on HTC and Blackberry).
As the leaders of the declining PC market, Lenovo can’t afford not to be involved in the mobile market, especially in China, their home country, which is a huge market that they understand very well. Android is obviously their first, and realistically the only choice when it comes to conquering such a market, with devices that start at $50 and up to $800. KitKat, especially, should make it much easier for companies like Lenovo to conquer the low-end and move people off feature phones at those very low-end levels.
Globally, Samsung is still running the show, with 32 percent market share of all smartphones, which is almost 3x more units compared to Apple, although it seems Samsung’s market share has been very stagnant compared to last year (even though the number of units grew from 55 million per quarter a year ago, to 80 million this year).
While Samsung is still doing very well in the smartphone market right now, they will need to be careful about how much focus they put on Tizen and risk alienating Android users, or simply lose money on Tizen as they may try to promote it over Android for some of their devices. This could lead to them making some bad decisions about which devices they need to promote.
They’ve also recently said that they are going to start outsourcing the manufacturing of the low-end and mid-range devices, as they focus more on profitability at the high-end. Unless they verify the quality of the devices made by those ODM partners, they could also risk losing customers at the low-end if they lose trust in the reliability of their low-end devices.
But regardless of how well Samsung will do in the future, I think there will be other OEM’s ready to pick up where Samsung left off – companies such as Sony or Motorola. Motorola has recently announced the Moto G, and instead of outsourcing the mid-range devices, Motorola is putting its best into that device, to ensure it’s a quality device for the price that will sell well. Their focus on quality devices at the mid-range may pay off for both their revenue and market share, as others keep targeting the high-end.