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Apple and Samsung’s global smartphone market share slipped in the October quarter as Xiaomi surged

Friday, 31 October 2014 | By Andrew Sadauskas

Apple’s share of the global smartphone market slipped slightly during the October quarter despite the release of the iPhone 6, while Samsung’s market share plummeted, as Chinese vendor Xiaomi became the world’s third largest vendor by volume.


The figures, released by IDC, show the global smartphone market grew by 25.2% year-on-year to 327.6 million units for the quarter, up from 261.7 million units for the same quarter a year ago.


Samsung remains the world’s largest smartphone vendor with 23.8% market share off 78.1 million units, but this was down dramatically from 85 million units and 32.5% market share a year ago.


Meanwhile, despite the launch of the iPhone 6, Apple’s growth rate of 16.1% was slower than the overall market, meaning the company’s market share actually fell from 12.9% a year ago to 12%. This was despite its shipments increasing from 33.8 million units to 39.3 million this year.


However, the big story was Chinese low-cost smartphone maker Xiaomi, which saw its growth explode 211.3% year-on-year, with sales growing from 5.6 million units a year ago to 17.3 million this year.


While devices made by Xiaomi are not yet available in Australia or the US, the company is having a major impact in China and surrounding countries, especially at the low end of the market.


In an accompanying statement, IDC said it would be interesting to see how “quickly the company can move beyond its home territories to drive volumes higher”.


“Xiaomi jumped into the top five list for the first time at the number three position thanks to its focus on China and adjacent markets, which resulted in triple-digit year-over-year growth. Key to its success was the launch of its Mi4 smartphone in August, which was positioned as a high-end alternative to the status quo,” IDC states.


Lenovo and LG rounded out the top five smartphone makers, with 16.9 and 16.8 million units each, up from 12.3 million and 12 million units respectively a year earlier.


The figures come a day after figures from Kantar Worldpanel showed Google’s Android operating system extended its lead in the Australian market over smartphones running Apple iOS.


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