Lenovo Becomes World’s Third Largest Smartphone Vendor

The number of smartphone shipments reached 316.6m in Q3 2014, representing 13.1% y-o-y growth and 5.5% q o q growth, according to Juniper Research.

The biggest winners this quarter are those capitalising on expanding Asian markets, such as Chinese ODM Xiaomi. The firm sold 19m devices in Q3, a 25.8% 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 Southeast 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% 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% y-o-y fall in shipments, part of a wider malaise for the vendor which also saw a 49% 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%, Huawei still posted a 26% 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 16.8m units, a 40% y-o-y sales increase, expanding its market share to 5.5%.
  • Microsoft posted a q-o-q increase in Lumia device shipments, a 16.3% rise to 9.3m 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.

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