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Smartphone Market Posts Second-Highest Quarter in History

Worldwide, vendors shipped 337.2 million smartphones in the second quarter of 2015, an 11.6 percent increase over the same period in 2014 and the second-highest total in history, according to a new report from International Data Corp. (IDC).

"The overall growth of the smartphone market was not only driven by the success of premium flagship devices from Samsung, Apple, and others, but more importantly by the abundance of affordable handsets that continue to drive shipments in many key markets," said Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC's mobile phone team, in a prepared statement.

Samsung held the first place spot for the quarter, despite being the only one in the top five to see a decline in year-over-year shipment, with 73.2 million shipments and a 21.7 percent market share. That's a minor slip of 2.3 percent from the 74.9 million units the company shipped during last year's second quarter when it held a 24.8 percent share.

"The new Galaxy S6 and S6 edge arrived with mixed results as a limited supply of the edge models did not keep pace with the demand for the new curved handset," according to a news release. "Older Galaxy models, however, sold briskly thanks to deep discounts and promotions throughout the quarter. All eyes will now be on the early release of the pending Note 5 and rumored S6 edge plus to come this August."

"Apple's second quarter proved to be its biggest fiscal third quarter ever with 47.5 million units shipped," according to information released by IDC.

That total is a 34.9 percent increase over the 35.2 million units the company sold in the second quarter of 2014, good enough for a market share increase from11.7 percent to 14.1 percent.

Huawei saw the most year over year growth of the top five at 48.1 percent as its shipment total improved from 20.2 million to 29.9 million. The company's market share improved from 6.7 percent to 8.9 percent.

"Huawei's mid-range and high-end models continue to prove successful with the flagship P8, Honor Series and Mate 7 handsets delivering sustainable growth both in the consumer and commercial segment," according to a news release. "Huawei will now look beyond Europe and Asia/Pacifc as its latest P8 Lite handset launched in the U.S. (as an unlocked model) for only $250 earlier in the quarter."

Xiaomi shipped 17.9 million units, an improvement over last year's second quarter shipments of 29.4 percent and good for a 5.3 percent market share.

Lenovo rounded out the top five with 16.2 million shipments, up from 15.8 million in 2014's second quarter. The increase in total sales, however, wasn't good enough to keep the company's market share from slipping slightly, from 5.2 to 4.8 percent.

"While much of the attention is being paid to Apple and Samsung in the top tier, the smartphone market in fact continues to diversify as more entrants hit this increasingly competitive market," said Melissa Chau, senior research manager with IDC's mobile phone team, in a prepared statement. "While the Chinese players are clearly making gains this quarter, every quarter sees new brands joining the market. IDC now tracks over 200 different smartphone brands globally, many of them focused on entry level and mid-range models, and most with a regional or even single-country focus."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].

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