Smartphone makers sold 1 billion handsets worldwide last year, according to a report by IDC this morning. And nobody has more reason to be happy than Samsung.
The South Korean electronics company sold 313.9 million smartphones last year, up 42.9 percent over 2012. Last quarter, the company sold 82 million smartphones, continuing to widen its overall lead over Apple’s iPhone sales. In particular, Samsung’s strength came from its bargain-basement pricing and wide variety of screen sizes, something that differentiates its offerings from Apple’s iPhone.
While Apple posted record quarterly sales of the iPhone, its sales grew the least year-over-year, compared to its top competitors. Selling 153.4 million iPhones over the course of the past year wasn’t nearly enough to stave off the growth of Huawei, LG and Lenovo, who all saw market share gains.
Here are IDC’s charts showing shipments for the year and the quarter.
Tim Cook said yesterday that the iPhone made significant sales gains in developing markets, but it’s clear that Apple has more work to do outside the U.S., where Samsung and others already have a strong foothold. Especially in markets where Samsung’s cheaper phones have an advantage over Apple’s luxury offerings, the Cupertino-based company has a lot of work ahead of it if it wants to succeed.
Still, the opportunity for success is there. Lenovo, which doesn’t have a presence in North America or Western Europe, managed to be the fourth-largest seller of smartphones worldwide in the fourth quarter.