Samsung races ahead in global mobile battles

SAMSUNG has extended its lead over Apple in the global smartphone wars, taking a 31 per cent share of recent sales according to new data.

Research from Gartner, published yesterday, showed that the Korean firm sold 64.7m smartphones in the first quarter of the year, against 38.1m iPhone sales. This was a much larger gap than just 12 months ago, when Samsung sold 40.6m smartphones to Apple’s 33.1m.

Samsung and Android increase market share

However, the two firms continue to claim a massive slice of the ever-growing smartphone pie. Between them, Samsung and Apple accounted for almost half of the total smartphone market, which increased by 43 per cent year-on-year. Gartner said that more than 200m people bought smartphones in the period, and that the devices now account for just under half of total phone sales.

The figures also displayed the continuing struggles of other household names, in particular BlackBerry and Nokia. BlackBerry sales declined by 37 per cent, and made up just three per cent of the smartphone market in the period, while Nokia’s share of all phone sales fell from 20 per cent to 15 per cent. The decline is especially worrying for Nokia, which has struggled to make waves amongst smartphone buyers but has managed to remain strong in sales of cheaper phones in recent years.

Although the smartphone market grew rapidly, sales of more basic mobiles declined at almost the same rate, meaning that total market was flat year-on-year. In fact, Gartner analyst Anshul Gupta said that every global region apart from Asia Pacific actually saw a decline.

He added that Samsung can expect its market share to grow in the current quarter, with the launch of its flagship Galaxy S4, while Apple will struggle. “There are no new [Apple] products expected to be coming before the third quarter,” he said.