Emerging Markets Drove Worldwide Smartphone Sales to 15.5 Percent Growth in Third Quarter of 2015

Continued demand for affordable smartphones in emerging markets drove worldwide sales of smartphones in the third quarter of 2015, according to Gartner, Inc. Global sales of smartphones to end users totaled 353 million units, a 15.5 percent growth over the same period in 2014.

"The availability of affordable smartphones in emerging markets saw consumers upgrade their 'feature phones' to smartphones more quickly because of the small price gap," said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. "Smartphone sales in emerging markets rose to 259.7 million in the third quarter of 2015 — an 18.4 percent growth over the third quarter of 2014 — while sales in mature markets saw growth of just 8.2 percent over the same period."

In the third quarter of 2015, Samsung refreshed its flagship devices just four months after its previous refresh to address slowing demand for its high-end devices, and further compete with Apple's large-screen iPhones. Apple continued its dominance in the premium segment of the smartphone market with its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models for most of the third quarter of 2015. The global launch of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus during the last week of September 2015, along with the simultaneous launch in China, further added to its overall sales during the quarter. Huawei continued its growth momentum, driven by smartphone sales in both its home market and global markets, particularly Europe, where sales were driven by its ever-growing brand visibility.

Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 3Q15 (Thousands of Units)
Company
3Q15
Units
3Q15 Market Share (%)
3Q14
Units
3Q14 Market Share (%)
Samsung
83,586.7
23.7
72,929.4
23.9
Apple
46,062.0
13.1
38,186.6
12.5
Huawei
27,262.3
7.7
15,935.0
5.2
Lenovo*
17,439.2
4.9
21,314.1
7.0
Xiaomi
17,197.2
4.9
15,772.5
5.2
Others
161,296.6
45.7
141,246.5
46.3
Total
352,844.0
100.0
305,384.0
100.0
Source: Gartner (November 2015)
*The results for Lenovo include sales of mobile phones by Lenovo and Motorola both in 3Q15 and 3Q14.

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