Mobile analyst firm Juniper Research estimates that the number of smartphone shipments reached 316.6 million in Q3 2014, representing 13.1 per cent y-o-y growth and 5.5 per cent q-o-q growth.
The biggest winners this quarter are those capitalising on expanding Asian markets, such as Chinese ODM Xiaomi. The firm sold 19 million devices in Q3, a 25.8 per cent increase in sales on last quarter.
Combined Lenovo-Motorola shipments are estimated to be in excess of 23 million devices this quarter, with Motorola on-track to return to profitability in Lenovo’s target 4 to 6 quarters. Lenovo is now well-positioned to expand into India and other Souteast Asian markets, where the Moto X and Moto G have a large consumer base, as well as a positive brand presence in the US.
Apple experienced strong growth following the iPhone 6 launch, posting its highest ever Q3 results, representing a 16.2 per cent y-o-y increase. This is expected to grow further in the coming months as large numbers of US consumers upgrade to the latest iPhone iteration.
Conversely, Samsung experienced an estimated 8 per cent y-o-y fall in shipments, part of a wider malaise for the vendor which also saw a 49 per cent drop in net profits.
The Not-So-Squeezed Middle
We are seeing continued strong gains for medium-sized vendors, generally reaching out from Asia to more international markets.
Despite its share of shipments declining by 1.6 per cent, Huawei still posted a 26 per cent y-o-y increase in shipment volumes, with a larger increase in revenues thanks to their high-end devices such as the Ascend range shipping in increasing numbers.
• LG shipped 16.8 million units, a 40 per cent y-o-y sales increase, expanding its market share to 5.5 per cent.
• Microsoft posted a q-o-q increase in Lumia device shipments, a 16.3 per cent rise to 9.3 million devices.
• BlackBerry’s return to device profitability through cost-cutting masks a slight q-o-q drop in sales, of just over 2 million devices.