Demand for cheaper Android devices helped global smartphone shipments surge 38.8% in the third quarter, according to the latest data from research firm IDC. The 258.4 million units shipped marked a new record for a single quarter by more than 9%.
Overall mobile phone shipments increased just 5.7% in the quarter
“Price points have declined significantly, driven largely by low-cost Android solutions,” said Ryan Keith, who oversees IDCs quarterly mobile reports, in a statement. That in turn has helped China to become one of the fastest-growing smartphone markets, making up more than a third of shipments.
Samsung was again the top manufacturer, with 31.4% market share, about the same level as a year ago. Shipments were up 40.5% to 81.2 million. Apple had 13.1% of the market, compared to 14.4% a year earlier, on sales of 33.8 million iPhones. That was up from 25.7% a year ago.
Rounding out the top five, Chinese vendors Huawei and Lenovo, along with LG, each saw growth of more than 70% in the quarter, with each claiming just under 5% of smartphone shipments. "Beyond Samsung and Apple at the top of the rankings is a tight race of vendors trying to break out from the pack," noted Ramon Lamas, a research manager at IDC.
The firm expects the momentum from the third quarter to carry over into the fourth quarter as device makers continue to launch flagship models in time the holiday season.