2013 *may* have been a milestone year for the smartphone market, with research firm IDC claiming that it was the first year when more than 1bn smartphones were shipped globally. However, rival Strategy Analytics‘ estimates – both were published yesterday following Apple’s financial results – peg the total at 990m smartphone shipments in 2013. Either way: lots, with IDC claiming shipments were up 38.4% year-on-year, and Strategy Analytics up 41%. Both companies see Samsung as the largest individual manufacturer, selling 313.9m / 319.8m (we’ll include both firms’ figures) units over the year, compared to Apple’s 153.4m iPhones. Strategy Analytics reckons that together, Samsung and Apple accounted for 47.8% of all smartphones that shipped last year, with a big drop to third-ranked Huawei from China, which it estimates had a 5.1% market share. Meanwhile, IDC highlights the fact that cheap smartphones are increasingly driving the global market: “Markets like China and India are quickly moving toward a point where sub-$150 smartphones are the majority of shipments, bringing a solid computing experience to the hands of many.”

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