As we head further into the second quarter of 2013, number crunchers like me are always curious as to how smartphone manufacturers did sales wise in the previous quarter. Luckily the market research firm DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce Corporation, calculated the numbers for the world to see, and when all was said and done in the first three months of the year Samsung comes away as the big winner.
Smartphones have seen a steady growth since the beginning of 2012 culminating in the first quarter of this year's shipment total of 216.4 million units. Of those smartphones, Samsung shipped a whopping 65 million units, a total of three out of ten or 30%. DRAMeXchange credits the South Korean manufacturer's vertically integrated supply chain, global marketing, and various sales channels as the reason for their advantage.
As in most of these cases Samsung's gain is of course their main rival Apple's loss, and this time is no different. The firm cites the iPhone 5's lack of innovation as the reason for their disappointing sales numbers. Apple's total shipments in Q1 2013 seen a decrease of 1.2% to 37.5 million units or 17.3% of the total market share. These numbers are actually expected to slide even more with the impending release of devices like the Samsung Galaxy S IV and the HTC One while the next iteration of the iPhone is still a ways off.
While those sales numbers reflect global sales, it seems as though Samsung's increased popularity in China have a lot to do with their dominance. Samsung actually shipped 11.7 million units to that country alone giving them a total market share of 17%, far and away above their competitors. China's domestic brands took the biggest hit with the likes of Huawei, ZTE, and Lenovo all losing sales to varying degrees with Lenovo taking the worst of it. Having nearly caught up with Samsung in the second half of 2012, Lenovo seen a sharp 15% decrease in demand for their products as they shipped only 7.6 million units.
Going forward DRAMeXchange still sees the shipments of smartphones continuing to grow, however it will be factors other than just popularity that may shape the total number of shipments, mainly a shortage of memory products like eMCP. The research firm believes that it will be the relationship between the manufacturer and their suppliers that will determine the strength of their second quarter shipments. This is an assertion that may not be too far off base considering the trouble that HTC has had getting their highly anticipated 2013 flagship handset the One out the door.