Apple has nearly caught up with Nokia in mobile phone shipments, with the shipments of iPhones reaching 43.7 million worldwide in the first quarter of 2014, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.
This is up from the 37.4 million iPhones Apple shipped during the same period last year. Nokia shipped 47 million phones, down from 61.9 million in the same period in 2013.
While Samsung maintains at the top spot in the mobile phone market worldwide, with a 27.7 percent share and 113 million shipments. Nokia is in second place with an 11.5 percent share, followed closely by Apple with a 10.7 percent share.
Ken Hyers, Strategy Analytics' senior analyst, said: “Apple has closed the market share gap on Nokia to just one point, and Nokia will have to fight hard to stay ahead in the second half of this year. Nokia continues to face intense competition from Apple and dozens of Android vendors.”
Hyers said he expected Microsoft, which recently bought Nokia's handset business for €5.44bn, to upgrade Nokia’s X phone portfolio in the coming months to stabilise the downturn.
Even though Samsung shipped 113 million mobile phones worldwide in the first quarter of this year, its growth rate slowed due to tougher competition from Chinese vendors.
Huawei shipped 14.2 million mobile phones, with an annual growth rate that was two times higher than the mobile phone industry average.
The firm now occupies a three percent market share and remains the world’s fifth largest vendor.
LG had a mixed quarter, according to the research firm, now holding 4 percent of the market. “LG is performing well in Europe, but China and India remain major weak spots that the vendor still needs to address,” said Hyers.
Overall, Strategy Analytics noted that global mobile phone shipments have grown by nine percent annually from 372 million units a year ago to 408 million units now. Smartphones now account for seven in 10 of all mobile phone shipments.
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