The number of smartphone shipments reached 286 million in Q1 2014, representing 34% y-o-y growth and 1% q-o-q growth.
According to mobile analyst firm Juniper Research, Samsung accounted for 30% of all smartphone shipments globally, with an estimated 85 million shipments during the quarter.
While the company’s market share remained broadly flat on the previous quarter, this represented a record Q1 for Samsung with a y-o-y growth in shipments of 25%.
Meanwhile, Apple also posted its best ever first quarter, shipping 43.7 million iPhones, representing a y-o-y growth of 17%.
Nevertheless, Apple’s shipment volume fell by 14% compared with the traditionally strong fourth quarter, while its market share slipped from 18% in Q4 2013 to 15% in Q1 2014.
Slowing Growth and Falling Prices
This slowing growth is expected to continue in Q2 2014 due to the fact that in developed markets, the opportunity for growth is extremely limited.
Conversely, in emerging markets where smartphone adoption is currently limited, growth will be fuelled the continuing fall in retail prices for entry level smartphones.
Juniper anticipates that the global ASP (Average Selling Price) of smartphones will decline at an average annual rate of 3.8% over the next four years with the decline most marked in the Indian Subcontinent, followed by Africa & Middle East.
Lenovo + Motorola = Winning Combination?
Motorola announced that it sold some 6.5 million smartphones in Q1 2014, driven by its best-selling smartphone, the Moto G.
Juniper estimates that the combined Motorola-Lenovo smartphone shipments for Q1 2013 exceeded 20 million, putting the joint entity into a third place. However, Lenovo’s acquisition of Motorola is currently pending regulatory approval.
Meanwhile, Nokia reported a 30% decline in mobile sales revenue since last year owing to competition.
Other smartphone vendors, including LG, Huawei and ZTE, have managed to maintain their market share, and together are estimated to have shipped over 38 million smartphones.