Counterpoint Technology Market Research (Counterpoint Research hereafter), the go to source of smartphone market data, has released its monthly global smartphone data for May 2013.
Smartphones are now 57% of the market in May 2013. During the first quarter the shares of major brands shrunk or were at stalemate while local tier 2 brands grew. Counterpoint’s data shows the trend being reversed since the beginning of Q2 as Samsung, Nokia, LG, HTC and Huawei grow again. Apple’s share dropped to 16% in April but sales rose slightly during May stopping the downward trend. Apple is showing weakness in Q2 nonetheless.
Samsung’s global smartphone market share jumped to 38% during April and May. Its share in the US surpassed that of Apple as it leaped to first place in all major regions since April. Of major countries Samsung was number one except for Japan. The main cause of rise in market share was the combined sales of the new Galaxy S4 and previous Galaxy S III and Note II. End of life cycle Galaxy S III sales were still strong and the Note II was also priced aggressively in many regions including China bolstering market share even further.
Commenting on the results, Counterpoint Research Director, Peter Richardson stated, ‘The 2 year race between Apple and Samsung might finally come to an end this year as Samsung shows signs of becoming almost as dominant as Nokia once was in the smartphone market.’
The sales of the new Galaxy S4 were strong and helped Samsung take the No. 1 position in the smartphone market above the $400 price point, the so called premium market. Samsung took 47% market share in this category surpassing long time premium phone leader Apple. Apple’s market share was 38% in the category.
The only challenge is that the premium market may cease to grow further. 30% of the smartphone market was already populated by phones above the $400 price point which is slightly lower than the Jan-Mar period showing static demand for premium in many Developed Markets now. Peter Richardson explained ‘the bulk of the smartphone is coming from the price band of $250 and below, it is challenging for players in the premium price band as it’s becoming a cutthroat battle over limited operator subsidy support.’