WASHINGTON (AFP) – The global smartphone market showed healthy growth in the second quarter, but Apple’s iPhone was squeezed by competition from Samsung and other Asian manufacturers, surveys showed Friday.
Apple’s share of the global smartphone market fell to 13.1 percent in the April-June period, according to research firm IDC. A separate report by Strategy Analytics gave Apple 13.6 percent, but noted that it was the U.S. firm’s lowest share since 2010.
Samsung extended its dominance, capturing nearly one-third of all smartphones sold worldwide, according to the surveys, while South Korea’s LG and China’s Lenovo and ZTE showed accelerating growth.
Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said Apple is being squeezed on both the high and low ends of the smartphone market, by manufacturers using the free Google Android operating system.
“Apple is at risk of being trapped in a pincer movement between rival three-inch Android models at the low-end and five-inch Android models at the high-end,” he said.
Mawston noted Samsung sales grew 56 percent from a year ago to 76 million smartphones, while Apple’s growth was just 20 percent, less than half the industry pace of 47 percent.
Strategy Analytics said Apple was not only beaten on sales, but overtaken by Samsung as the world’s most profitable smartphone maker. The research group said Samsung’s operating profit for its handset division was 5.2 billion in the second quarter of 2013 to $4.6 billion for Apple.
“Apple’s reign as the world’s most profitable handset vendor lasted almost four years,” Mawston said.
“Apple’s profit margin for its handset division has been fading recently due to lackluster iPhone 5 volumes and tougher competition from rivals. Samsung is performing well in the U.S. market, while Huawei, ZTE and other local brands are growing vigorously in China.