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Smartphone Shipments Up 11.6% Over Last Year

When it's summer and everyone is outdoors – at the beach or at a musical or sporting event – it may seem as though there's no one without a smartphone. Yet smartphone sales continue to climb. More than 337 million smartphones were shipped worldwide in 2Q15, up 11.6 percent from a year ago, according to preliminary market data from the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. Shipments rose quarterly as well – and that's particularly impressive, considering that 1Q15 showed an above-average increase.

Smartphones now comprise 73 percent of the total 464.6 million mobile phones shipped worldwide in 2Q.

Smartphone Shipments

Much of the smartphone growth came from outside North America, IDC notes. "While much of the attention is being paid to Apple and Samsung in the top tier, the smartphone market in fact continues to diversify as more entrants hit this increasingly competitive market," said Melissa Chau, senior research manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team. "[E]very quarter sees new brands joining the market. IDC now tracks over 200 different smartphone brands globally, many of them focused on entry level and mid-range models, and most with a regional or even single-country focus."

Samsung retained its position as the leading smartphone OEM, though it was the only one of the top five whose smartphone shipments declined in 2Q. Samsung shipped 73.2 million smartphones during the quarter, down 2.3 percent from 2Q14, for a 21.7 percent market share.

Inability to meet market demand for the new Galaxy S6 and S6 edge was offset by brisk sales of older Galaxy models, which are being offered at deep discounts and promotions, IDC noted. Market watchers are now looking forward to the early introduction of the new Note 5 tablet and rumored S6 edge plus in August.

At 47.5 million, Apple's 2Q14 smartphone shipments total was its highest ever for a single quarter, up 34.9 percent year-over-year (YoY). Apple's market share rose to 14.1 percent from 11.7 percent in 2Q14.

Huawei posted 48.1 percent YoY growth in smartphone shipments. Huawei shipped 29.9 million units in 2Q for an 8.9 percent market share. Both its mid-range and high-end models continue to sell well in consumer and commercial market segments, according to IDC. Huawei introduced an unlocked version of its P8 Lite handset in the U.S. for $250 earlier this quarter.

"The overall growth of the smartphone market was not only driven by the success of premium flagship devices from Samsung, Apple, and others, but more importantly by the abundance of affordable handsets that continue to drive shipments in many key markets," commented Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team.

Chuck Harris leads the Alliance Development Team for NetAmerica Allaince whose mission it is to grow NetAmerica's 4G LTE footprint by working with wireless license holders across the U.S. interested in joining the NetAmerica Alliance to provide 4G LTE service to citizens in rural America.