Hardware, Software Programs

IDC: Enter the Era of Phablets?

International Data Corporation (IDC) yesterday published their newest figures regarding the smartphone segment of the market for 3Q 2013, and while it comes as no surprise that the Android mobile platform went above 80% of the market share, there are some other ?goodies? in the bag as well.

Shipments of smartphone units having a screen between 5 and 7 inches have drastically increased since the last year. Out of the 261.1 million shipped units, 21% of those were actually the ones in the phablet category (that number was a mere 3% a year ago). "Almost all successful Android vendors have added one or more 5-7-inch phablets to their product portfolios," said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC?s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. Reith even considers the notable lack of market share growth for Apple due to, among other reasons, the absence of a larger mobile device.

Curiously enough, even though the average selling price (ASP) continued to go down for many platforms (down -12.5% in 3Q13, accounting for an average price of $317), the aforementioned large-screen devices, which are generally more expensive than their ?regular? counterparts continued to rise. Just as Reith noted, many manufacturers have decided to follow the trend arguably set by Samsung ? including the relative newcomer to the category, Nokia. With recent announcements of the Lumia 1320 and the flagship Lumia 1520, they are certainly trying to bring out the ?big guns? before the merger with Microsoft finally occurs.

When it comes to mobile platforms themselves, it is worth noting that aside from Android grabbing an incredible 81% of the cake (IDC?s own predictions still note that by 2017 share will fall to 68.3%), the Windows Phone platform grew by 156% compared to the previous year. Of course, analysts note that the base was very small (3.7 million in 3Q12) but it still rose to almost 10 million shipped units. "Android and Windows Phone continued to make significant strides in the third quarter. Despite their differences in market share, they both have one important factor behind their success: price," said Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team. "Both platforms have a selection of devices available at prices low enough to be affordable to the mass market, and it is the mass market that is driving the entire market forward." Successful sales in the Europe put aside, Microsoft?s mobile platform still has difficulties reaching 5% of the global market share.

IDC 3Q13 Market Share

33.8 million iPhones were shipped in the 3Q13, which is a notable increase to the last year?s 26.9 million ? however, that is not the whole story. iOS has actually dropped from 14.4% market share to 12.9%. If someone considers that to be a bad result, it is worth looking at the BlackBerry ? or whatever is left of the share it had not that long ago. In 3Q13 the company shipped just 4.5 million units capturing 1.7% of the market share. IDC analysts do note that the fallen company has recently received an injection of $1 billion, but the plans regarding their platform are completely unknown.