Samsung, With Its Galaxy S5, Miles Ahead of Apple, iPhone 5s

Samsung shipped more smartphones globally in the first quarter of 2014 than the next four vendors combined thanks to its variety of offerings and the launch of its Galaxy S5 in select markets.

Apple was the No. 2 vendor, reaching a first-quarter record of more than 40 million units sold with strong international growth, but less improvement than in the previous year. Huawei, Lenovo and LG round out the top five list, according to the International Data Corp (IDC).

Vendors shipped a total of 281.5 million smartphones worldwide in the first quarter of 2014, up nearly 30 percent from last year’s 218.8 million units. Smartphones accounted for 62.7 percent of all mobile phone shipments in the first quarter of 2014, up 12 percent from the previous year’s numbers.

The worldwide mobile phone market as a whole shipped 448.6 million units, up 4 percent from the previous year. The number of both mobile-phone shipments and specifically smartphone shipments was down from the fourth quarter of 2013, by 2.8 percent in the case of smartphones and 9 percent in the case of all mobile phones.

“The first quarter of the year typically brings sequential retrenchment from the holiday spending of the previous quarter,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team. “The small difference between the two quarters points to sustained strong demand, driven by emerging markets, low-cost devices and the proliferation of 4G networks. If this is how we start the year, then we can look forward to another record-breaking quarter at the end of the year.”

In 2014, IDC expects total smartphone shipment volumes to reach 1.2 billion units, up 20 percent from last year’s 1 billion units but a slowdown from the nearly 40 percent growth seen in 2013.

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