Mobile analyst firm Juniper Research, which provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, estimates that the number of smartphone shipments exceeded 375 million in Q4 2014, with an annual total of over 1.2 billion smartphones shipped for 2014, representing a 29 percent year over year growth.
Samsung shipped an estimated 315 million smartphones in 2014 accounting for 25 percent of all smartphone shipments. However, the company reported its first annual earnings decline in 3 years, witnessing a three percent quarterly fall in shipments and market share to just over 76 million in Q4 2014.
Apple posted a record quarter of 74.5 million iPhone sales
Meanwhile, Apple posted a record quarter of 74.5 million iPhone sales, representing quarter over quarter growth of 90 percent and year over year growth of 46 percent compared to Q4 2013. With the demand for iPhones driven by the newly launched 6 and 6 Plus models, the company sold more iPhones in China than in the US for the first time ever. Despite closing in on Samsung in Q4, Apple had a market share of only 15 percent for the full year in 2014.
Juniper Research notes that the reception of the iPhone 6 Plus has indicated a large potential for Apple phablets and is expected to further accelerate the ‘Bigger Screen’ trend. However, potential releases from budget vendors could outpace their expansion and reduce Apple’s overall market share in the category over time. The firm estimates Apple to account for 30 percent of the Phablets (5.5”-6.9” screen) market in 2015.
Lenovo-Motorola combined is estimated to have shipped over 90m smartphones in 2014, managing to improve its market share to just over 7 percent, while Microsoft reported 10.5 million Lumia shipments in Q4 2014, driven by low-cost models. In addition, Huawei improved its market share year over year, shipping over 70 million smartphones in 2014, with the Honor line of devices accounting for nearly 28% of the total.