One billion smartphones shipped in 2013, second-tier makers growing fast

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For the first time more than one billion smartphones have been shipped in a year.

The statistics for 2013 come from research firm International Data Corporation which said the number of phones sent out to vendors was up 38.4 percent from 2012.

Samsung remains number one. Its market share edged up to 31.3 percent from the previous year.

Second-place Apple fell from 18.7 percent to 15.3 percent.

China’s Huawei was third with 4.9 percent, followed closely by LG Electronics and Lenovo.

Smartphones made up 55.1 percent of all mobile phone shipments last year. In 2012 they had been just over 40 percent.

The one billion mark was reached thanks to strong demand in emerging countries like India and China where low-priced devices are coming within the means of more people.

Research from another data compiler – Strategy Analytics – found that the second-tier smartphone brands – Huawei, LG and Lenovo – each grew their smartphone shipments around two times faster than the global industry average.

That puts the pressure on the top two – Samsung and Apple – to hold off those and other hungry challengers this year.

Strategy Analytics’s numbers differ slightly from International Data Corp’s. For all of 2013, it says global smartphone shipments grew 41 percent to reach a record 990 million.

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