Monday, November 4, 2013

Top 10 Phone Manufacturers of 2013

by Ashley Turner (July 2013)

Smartphone manufacturers are constantly competing to release the latest devices with the most impressive spec – always attempting to outdo each other in terms of speed, cameras and any other way possible. This has resulted in some extremely impressive devices on the market with smartphones that come with quad core processors, 13-megapixel cameras and even the ability to go under water (if you have attempted this with a non-waterproof phone please see this post). This means that a mobile phone can now be someone’s entire life, and the need for top tech has never been greater. But who’s providing the goods? Whose devices are selling the most? And the biggest question of all – who is the top phone manufacturer of 2013? Check out the top ten phone manufacturers below.

1. Samsung
Last year Samsung had the biggest annual sales, totalling 396.5 million units, and it still currently holds the 27% of the mobile market share according to ABI Research. Shipments have gone through the roof over the last couple of months, with Galaxy S4 topping 20 million within a couple of months. Apple’s iPhone 5 reached 20 million shipments within just 25 days – but with no new releases yet this year, it’s not quite competing with Samsung’s market share just yet. Samsung has also released variants of the Galaxy S4 such as the Galaxy S4 Active and Galaxy S4 Zoom – so it’s hardly a surprise it’s reaching a wider market.

2. Nokia
Let’s face it, Nokia have had legendary status ever since that ringtone and the brick that is the 3310. Then again, it might not be the first manufacturer you’d name when talking about the top smartphone manufacturers today. Nokia actually came second when it comes to biggest annual sales last year,with 385.6 million sold – that really dwarfs Apple’s 135.8 million units. The manufacturer is actually proving itself to be a big competitor – especially with the release of the new Nokia Lumia, which comes with a 41-megapixel camera.

3. Apple
So it might have been dwarfed by Samsung and Nokia, but 135.8 million sales is still pretty impressive. Combine this with the fact that iPhone 5 sales topped 5 million units in the opening weekend and that, despite no new releases in Q1 2013, shipments are still at 37.4 million and you have some extremely happy Apple executives. But Apple can’t really be in the top two best manufacturers of the year when it hasn’t actually released anything so far in 2013. Rumours have started circulating that we can expect the next iPhone 5S, budget iPhone and the iPad 5 in September so it may still make a comeback.

4. ZTE
Now we’ve covered the top three the figures go down a bit, but they are still impressive by any standards. ZTE isn’t a brand you would necessarily imagine to be within the top five on the list, at least in the UK, but the manufacturer is extremely popular in countries like the US, Australia and Germany. Its sales reached 75.7 million last year and despite not keeping up with smartphone leaders as far as shipments are concerned so far in 2013 – it still shipped 16.9 million units. Experts think that ZTE will continue to be successful if they expand their strength of producing strong, low cost devices.

5. LG
LG really put themselves back on the map with the release of the Nexus 4 last year – a must have for any true Android fan. Annual sales hit 55.9 million and within the first quarter of this year shipments hit 16.2 million – not far at all behind ZTE. LG won’t be teaming up with Google to make the Nexus 5 – which is rumoured to be a truly Google phone – so it’s hard to know what to expect next from the manufacturer. ABI Research has predicted that they need to focus on mid-range smartphones to move up the list of top manufacturers over the next few years. It seems that LG could be aiming high though – it recently showed off its thinnest full HD smartphone panel ever.

The manufacturers that didn’t quite make the cut
6. Huawei
Here’s a manufacturer you wouldn’t necessarily expect to be in the top ten. Huawei-who?! Huawei have been screaming ‘we’re here, we’re here’ all year so far – announcing the world’s slimmest smartphone amongst other things – and they are showing up more and more in emerging international markets like China.

7. Sony
Sony seems to have moved down the list over the past couple of years, losing spec pace when compared to the mammoth releases from Samsung and highly anticipated iPhone models from Apple. It’s still up in our top ten list though, as advances with the Xperia range camera has keep it in the running.

8. BlackBerry
It’s safe to say it hasn’t been the best year for BlackBerry. Disappointing sales of its flagship Z10 and Q10 led to production of both devices being cut. BlackBerry handsets used to be known as the business phones, but with all smartphones now allowing you to carry your life in your pocket BlackBerry seem to have fallen behind. It looks like the manufacturer is trying to branch out by offering its BBM to other operating systems. ABI thinks it needs to head back to the QWERTY keyboard for success.

9. HTC
This is another brand that’s had a difficult year – which has resulted in the manufacturer letting a lot of people go and losing some executives to other projects. It’s still in our top ten list, probably due to the success of the popular HTC One, but with projects such as the HTC First ‘Facebook phone’ failing hugely, HTC still needs to work a few things out.

10. Motorola
As one of the oldest and most established mobile phone manufacturers in the world, it does seem a little sad to see Motorola so far down on the list, butin truth it is failing to keep up with its peers. This could all be set to change though, as excitement builds around the upcoming Moto X.

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