Gone are the days when the smallest smartphone on the market is the top seller.
Worldwide, 279.4 million smart phones shipped in Q1 2014, representing growth of 29% on Q1 2013, but a decline of 5% on the seasonally strong Q4 2013.
Once again, iOS got trounced. 81% of smartphones shipped were Android devices, with iOS and Windows Phone accounting for 16% and 3% respectively.
Samsung remained the leading vendor with a 31% share, ahead of Apple at 16%. Half of the top 10 vendors were Chinese companies: Huawei (third), Lenovo (fourth), Xiaomi (sixth), Yulong (eighth) and ZTE (ninth). China, the world’s largest smart phone market, accounted for 35% of shipments, substantially ahead of the US, which managed just 12%.
97.5 million smartphones shipped in China alone in Q1, though this was down 3% sequentially.
“The Chinese market is undergoing major change and maturing quickly, with smart phones making up 93% of total mobile phone shipments in Q1 2014,” said Canalys Research Director for China Nicole Peng.
Smart phones with 5″ and larger screens grew 369% – a substantially greater rate of growth than the overall market. Worldwide, they represented just over a third of shipments (34%), and in Greater China the figure hit 39%, and 43% in Asia Pacific.
“This is still a market segment led by Samsung, but the trend is unmistakably toward larger-screen handsets at the high end of the market. It held a 44% share of devices with displays of 5″ and above, and 53% if the view is narrowed to look at 5.5″-plus displays,” said Canalys Analyst Jessica Kwee. “But many other vendors, such as Lenovo, Huawei, LG and Sony, have also achieved significant volumes in this space with products at the top end of their portfolios.”
Consumers now expect high-end devices to have large displays, and Apple’s absence in this market will clearly not last long, Kwee concludes.