Apple’s Global Smartphone Market Share Drops to 17.6% [Report]

Iphone models

Apple has sold a record 51 million iPhones, and Samsung has sold even more, 86 million smartphones, during the past three months. It’s not a question of how many high-end devices Samsung has sold. It’s a fact: The smartphone market is a two-horse race between the Cupertino and South Korean companies. Yet the thing is, smaller Asian smartphone OEMs are starting to close the gap, at least according to IDC and Strategy Analytics (via the Wall Street Journal and Reuters).

The two market research companies released similar numbers: Data from IDC puts Apple and Samsung’s market share at 47%, while Strategy Analytics’ data says 48%. Both show a slight drop compared to a year prior.

But when comparing the two companies’ sales, the balance obviously favours Samsung: 86 million Android smartphones account for nearly 30% of the global smartphone market, while Apple’s 51 million account for 17.6%, according to Strategy Analytics.

As the latest numbers show, the smartphone market is growing, and it isn’t the high-end devices that are pushing it forward, but the cheap handset. Oh, and IDC says the demand is for bigger-screen, low-cost devices, corroborating an earlier Bloomberg report.

And this isn’t what Apple wants to hear right now. Or maybe it does? Any denial of a larger-screen iPhone coming from Apple has the typical “people love surprises” stamp on it, so you should treat it that way.

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Still, another study of the holiday quarter, signed by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech a couple of days ago, says that Apple has a strong grip on the US smartphone market, although the 43.9% is lower compared to the same period a year prior. A possible reason: People love “full” releases, and the iPhone 5s isn’t one, nor is the iPhone 5c.

Technology enthusiast, rocker, biker and writer of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter or contact me via email: istvan@iphoneincanada.ca

  • iFone

    Where is the breakdown between high-mid-low end smartphones? What is considered to be named a smartphone (cause lately anything is a smartphone, included low powered phones using Android than run gingerbread. Those to me are the new feature phones)? When you give me that info, then let’s talk market share.
    Also, just looking at market share, is the same as just looking at one data point. You need to see the WHOLE picture before inferring things.

  • pffftiBoysTheseDays

    Ok…w/e iBoy

  • FragilityG4

    He’s right. Samsung vs Apple is comparing Apples with oranges (no pun intended.) Samsung has a ton of phones (and they give a lot of them away for free)

    I would love to see flagship iPhone vs flagship galaxy market share … That would be more realistic.

  • J.Ro

    Lol it wasn’t even a Samsung versus apple chart. It was total market share of each OS.

    And just because a phone doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, doesn’t mean it isn’t a smartphone.

    People on this site sound like a bunch of Americans

  • iFone

    I don’t expect you to understand. It’s ok, carry on…

  • iFone

    Exactly, show me metrics for high end smartphones only, not for all smartphones as clearly frames Apple and put them at a disadvantage.

  • iFone

    I beg to differ. The smartphone term started to be used in the late 90s, early 2000s to differentiate those phones with computer-like capability from the feature phones. Nowadays, feature phones have faded away, and are being replaced by low end smartphone. Thus, the smartphone term lost it’s meaning. If you are going to compare smartphones such as the iPhone, s4, HTC One, then a sub smartphone category (i.e high end smartphones or super smartphones) needs to be created. Hence why these market shares chart make people believe Apple is losing the “battle”.

  • FragilityG4

    The data is completely misleading people to believing the S4 is outselling the 5S when it might be the contrary.
    By the way, complaining is very much a Canadian virtue.

  • Chrome262

    Love these OS comparisons, doesn’t really tell you anything on smartphone comparisons, its not even fair to BB and Windows, but even windows have multiple platforms.

  • behhhbehhhisheep

    a negative article posted on this shameless propaganda site and the isheeps are losing their minds lololl… oh how can it be???? lets twist the data around a million ways so that maybe we can twist it into a positive

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Gary

    Because of this comment I just ordered the new Mac Pro to only use for Twitter and Facebook.