APAC leads world in mobile phones sales growth

Sales of smartphones in APAC grew 77 per cent compared to this quarter last year.

APAC has led the world in the growth of smartphone and overall mobile sales in the third quarter of this year, according to the latest Gartner report.

Worldwide mobile phone sales to end-users totalled 455.6 million units in the third quarter, and increase of 5.7 per cent from the same period last.

Sales of smartphones accounted for 55 per cent of overall mobile phone sales and reached their highest share to date.

Worldwide smarphone sales to end users reached 250.2 million units, 25.8 per cent from the previous year.

However, the APAC region led the growth in both markets – the smartphone segment with a 77.3 per cent increase and the mobile phone segment with 11.9 per cent growth.

Other regions to show an increase in the overall mobile phone market were Western Europe, which returned to growth for the first time this year, and the Americas.

Gartner analyst Anshul Gupta said sales of feature phone continued to decline and the decrease was more pronounced in markets where the average selling price (ASP) for feature phones was much closer to the ASP affordable smartphones.

“In markets such as China and Latin America, demand for feature phones fell significantly as users rushed to replace their old models with smartphones.”

Gupta said global mobile phone sales are on pace to reach 1.81 billion units in 2013, a 3.4 percent increase from 2012.

“We will see several new tablets enter the market for the holiday season, and we expect consumers in mature markets will favor the purchase of smaller-sized tablets over the replacement of their older smartphones” he said.

While Samsung’s share was flat in the third quarter of 2013, Samsung increased its lead over Apple in the global smartphone market .

The launch of the Samsung Note 3 helped reaffirm Samsung as the clear leader in the large display smartphone market, which it pioneered.

Lenovo’s sales of smartphones grew to 12.9 million units, up 84.5 percent year-on-year. It constantly raised share in the Chinese smartphone market.

Apple’s smartphone sales reached 30.3 million units in the third quarter of 2013, up 23.2 percent from a year ago.

Gupta said while the arrival of the new iPhones 5s and 5c had a positive impact on overall sales, such impact could have been greater had they not started shipping late in the quarter.

“While we saw some inventory built up for the iPhone 5c, there was good demand for iPhone 5s with stock out in many markets.”

In the smartphone operating system market, Android extended its leading position surpassing 80 percent market share in the third quarter of 2013, which helped extend its leading position.

Gupta said the winner of this quarter was Microsoft which grew 123 percent.

“Microsoft announced the intent to acquire Nokia’s devices and services business, which we believe will unify effort and help drive appeal of Windows ecosystem,” he said.

Forty-one per cent of all Android sales were in mainland China, compared to 34 percent a year ago. Samsung is the only non-Chinese vendor in the top 10 Android players ranking in China.

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