Gartner: Apple’s iPhone Lifted By Rising Smartphone Sales in 2013

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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has benefited from an increasing consumer shift from feature phones to smartphones in the worldwide market, reports market research firm Gartner. Apple, maker of the high-end iPhone 5S and the mid-range iPhone 5C, saw its share of the worldwide mobile phone market grow from 7.5 percent in 2012 to 8.3 percent in 2013. According to Gartner’s data, worldwide smartphone sales accounted for 53.6 percent of overall mobile phone sales in 2013, surpassing annual feature phone sales for the first time.

Apple was the third largest vendor of mobile phones behind second-ranked Nokia (NYSE:NOK), which had a 13.9 percent share. However, Nokia’s market share also significantly decreased from the 19.1 percent share it held in 2012. Samsung (SSNLF.PK) maintained its position as the No. 1 mobile phone vendor with a 24.6 percent share of the overall mobile phone market.

While Apple increased its share of the overall mobile phone market and sold more iPhone units in 2013 than it sold in 2012, the California-based company actually lost global smartphone market share in 2013 due to the growing low-end smartphone market. According to Gartner, Apple’s share of the worldwide smartphone market decreased to 15.6 percent in 2013, compared to 19.1 percent in 2012. Meanwhile, overall worldwide sales of smartphones increased 42.3 percent from 2012 with 968 million units sold in 2013.

Although Apple reported sales of 51 million iPhones in the fourth-quarter of calendar 2013, Gartner estimated sales of 50.2 million units. Per Gartner, Apple’s share of the global smartphone market slipped to 17.8 percent in the fourth-quarter of 2013, from 20.9 percent in the year-ago quarter.

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