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Take Note, Apple: Demand 5" Smartphones Soars

By Oonagh Reidy | Wednesday | 06/11/2013

Smartphone to get even bigger, as demand for 5 inch screens soars.

Over a quarter of a billion smartphones were shipped in Q3 2013 as demand for Samsung and Apple devices continues to soar. 

But Microsoft mobile momentum is growing fast, driven by demand for Nokia Lumia's, says analysts Canalys, and is now No. 2 mobile platform in 19 countries

Demand for smartphones grew 44% globally year-on-year, as shipments of large-screen smartphones, 5" and over reached their highest ever level, driven mainly by Samsungs like S4, and 5.3" Note 3 'phablets', the latter which is proving a big seller globally and in Aussie retailers like JB Hi-Fi.

Samsung maintained  mobile supremacy, worldwide, accounting for one third (34%) of the market, while arch rival Apple had less than half of Samsung's share at 15%. 

Huawei, Lenovo and LG also made it into the top five smartphone vendors in Q3. 

Displays of 5 inches and over account for one in 5 phones shipped, or 56 million. 66% of this, 56 m figures had a 5" display, one third were between 5"- 6", while 6" or larger screens is still in the minority at just 3%. 

Canalys expects 4.1" - 5" to be most popular with consumers in 2014. 

"The 6" plus segment will be boosted next quarter by Nokia's arrival, but this market won't develop quickly unless Samsung invests marketing dollars to push its Galaxy Mega range," said Jingwen Wang, Canalys Research Analyst.

Asia Pacific is expected to lead the demand for large-screen phones due to demand in emerging markets. Android phones from HTC, LG and Huawei all found success with larger screen devices. 

Samsung and Apple were mobile leaders in Asia Pacific but Sony took third place (excluding Greater China), driven by demand in its home market, Japan.  

'Samsung was the leading vendor across all regions except North America, where Apple held the top spot," says Nicole Peng, Canalys Research Director. These 'two horses of the phone market account for almost 70% of phone shipped in the all important US market. 

LG held onto third place in US, while Nokia moved fourth place (from No. 8) after making gains with its new flagships Lumia 1020 and 925 on Microsoft OS. 

In Greater China, local vendors Lenovo, Yulong and Huawei followed Samsung. Apple, too, made it back into the top five this quarter, in one of its most important markets outside the US. 

In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) however, Samsung leads with almost 50% share, while Apple lagged far behind with 13%. 

In terms of mobile platforms, the Android and iOS share remained unchanged, but Microsoft increased by 4%, lifting shipments by 185% to 9.2 million V's Q3 2012, which helped to place it as the second biggest OS in 19 countries, including Finland, Vietnam, Italy, and Russia.

'Nokia's new Lumia handsets will help shore up this position in the holiday quarter, but Microsoft and Nokia must ensure that momentum is kept up well into the New Year as the acquisition goes through to completion,' said Jessica Kwee, Singapore-based Analyst.

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