According to the latest report by analyst firm Canalys’, the total smart mobile device (notebook, tablet and smart phone) shipments for Q1 2013, hit 308.7 million units, representing a year-on-year growth of 37.4 percent. The report found that in terms of OS vendors, the Open Handset Alliance continues to dominate, with Android the OS of choice on 59.5% of all smart mobile devices shipped. Of the other OS vendors, Apple’s strength in the smart phone and tablet PC markets accounts for its 19.3% share, while Microsoft’s 18.1% share reflects its relative strength in the PC market but continued challenger status in the smart phone space.
Of the three, the tablet market continues to grow the fastest. Worldwide, tablet shipments grew 106.1% year-on-year to 41.9 million units. Though Apple continues to lead in the tablet space with a 46.4% share, it lost share to its Android-based rivals for the third consecutive quarter. ‘Spearheaded by Google and Amazon, the commoditization of the tablet market has happened far quicker than that of the wider PC market,’ said Canalys Senior Analyst, Tim Coulling. ‘Profit margins are being squeezed and vendors without a low cost structure will find it hard to compete. A solid range of must-have accessories and a software and services strategy are vital as vendors will increasingly need to make revenue around their devices.’
As per the report, smart phone shipments came in at just over 216.3 million for the quarter, maintaining the strong growth (47.9% this quarter) that the market saw throughout 2012. Android handsets accounted for 75.6% of total smart phone shipments, and Samsung dominated once again, growing its volume by 64.3% year-on-year, which helped its market share exceed 32%. In contrast, Apple saw modest annual growth (6.7%) in its smart phone shipments – the lowest level since the launch of the original iPhone back in 2007.
Commenting on the insights, Pete Cunningham, Canalys Principal Analyst said,”Despite its slowing growth, Apple still shipped over 37 million iPhones. But HTC and Samsung have raised the bar with their latest handsets and Apple needs to respond with its next iPhone. The iPhone user interface is now six years old and badly in need of a refresh. Hardware-wise, the biggest dilemma that Apple faces is what it does with the size of the display on the next iPhone. It cannot afford to ignore the trend for larger displays in premium smart phones. We expect an increase on the iPhone 5’s 4″ display but are not anticipating a “Phablet”-style iPhone.’
The report found that Huawei, LG and ZTE completed the top five smart phone vendors, all with less than 5% market share each. According to the report, Notebook PC shipments totaled 50.5 million units, once again contracting during the quarter, by 13.1% compared with the same period in 2012. The biggest decline was in Western Europe, where shipments fell by 25.2% on an annual basis.