Strategy Analytics recently released data regarding global smartphone shipments in 2013. Data was taken from fourth-quarter shipments in 2012 and 2013 as well as each year’s totals. Consumers may be surprised that Apple fell so short of Android, with just 15% of marketshare this year—a decrease from the 20% it held in 2012. Microsoft held even less, only accounting for 4% of smartphone shares. The number of smartphones shipped in 2013 was just shy of 1 billion—coming in at 990.0 million. This number is up from the 700.1 million in 2012, a 38% increase in smartphone shipments.
Although Android “out-shipped” the competition, its annual growth rate decreased this year. Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, provides a possible explanation: “There is little doubt that 2013 was the year of Android. However, Android's annual growth rate slowed to 62% in 2013, its lowest level in the platform's history. We expect Android's growth to slow further in 2014 due to market saturation, and rivals like Microsoft or Firefox will be ready to pounce on any signs of a major slowdown for Android this year." Although Apple’s marketshare has decreased from 2012, it shipped at a practically stagnant 13% increase. Android’s growth rate may have slowed, but the platform’s market footprint is still well beyond that of Apple and Microsoft.
Apple and Microsoft have some issues that they will need to address in 2014. Despite Apple’s record volumes, its 5c model did not do as well as expected. Additionally, Microsoft cannot currently compete with higher-tier smartphone categories. The company still struggles to form a grip on even the low and premium tiers. All smartphone manufacturers seemingly need to improve in 2014 for proper growth to take place.