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Uh Oh: Samsung’s Global Smartphone Market Share Takes a Massive Hit

by Todd Haselton | December 15, 2014December 15, 2014 1:00 pm PDT

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge-8

Samsung’s smartphone sales are struggling – a fact the company is well aware of – and now new figures from Gartner provide a better look at what’s going on in the global smartphone landscape. The South Korean company is still dominating the world in overall smartphone sales, though its market share dropped off drastically during the third quarter of this year.

Samsung’s slice of the smartphone market now sits at 24.4 percent, down from 32.1 percent during the same quarter last year. Apple, the second largest smartphone seller by volume, noticed a market share jump from 12.1 percent in Q3 2013 to 12.7 percent during Q3 2014. Chinese competitors were responsible for the decline in Samsung’s market share. Huawei jumped from a 4.7 percent share in the year-ago quarter to 5.3 in Q3 2014 while Xiaomi jumped from a 1.5 percent share to a 5.2 percent share during the same time period. Lenovo was the fifth largest seller of smartphones in the world, according to Gartner, though its market share decreased from 5.2 percent to 5 percent.

Total mobile phone sales during the quarter totaled 455.8 million units, Gartner said, which was flat compared to the same quarter last year. Samsung remained the dominant player here, too, with a 20.6 percent market share, though that dropped from 25.7 percent from a year ago. Nokia is still the second-largest seller of mobile phones, but its share also declined from 13.8 percent last year to 9.5 percent in Q3 2014. Apple’s share increased from 6.7 percent to 8.4 percent, and LG, Huawei and TCL all also saw gains.

“Samsung’s deepest decline came from feature phones, which decreased by 10.8 percent year-over-year,” Gartner explained in its report. “Demand for Samsung’s smartphones weakened mostly in Western Europe and Asia. Samsung’s smartphone sales declined 28.6 percent in China, the biggest market for Samsung.”

Meanwhile, on the operating system end of the spectrum, Android and iOS both saw increases in market share as Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS and BlackBerry continued to falter. Android is still the world’s most used operating system with an 83.1 percent market share, up from 82 percent in Q3 2013. That’s followed by iOS with a 12.7 percent share, up from 12.1 percent in the year-ago quarter, followed by Windows Phone, which fell from 3.6 percent to 3 percent, and BlackBerry, which fell from 1.8 percent to 0.8 percent.

Gartner

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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