Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) global market share for high-end mobile phones in the first quarter  of fiscal 2013 declined to 18.2 percent from 22.5 percent in the same period last year, according to the latest report from analysts at Gartner, Inc (NYSE:IT), one of the leading information technology research and advisory companies.


Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd (LON:BC94) (KSE:005930), a primary competitor of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), captured the largest share in the high-end smartphone market with 30.8 percent. Market shares of LG Electronics (KSE:066570) climbed from 3.4 percent to 4.8 percent, Huawei Technology Co Ltd (SHE:002502) rose from 3.6 percent to 4.4 percent, and ZTE Corporation (SHE:000063) from 3.1 percent to 3.8 percent.


Apple Inc. (AAPL) Faces Challenges

Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner Inc (NYSE:IT) said, “Apple is faced with the challenge of being increasingly dependent on the replacement market as its addressable market is capped. The next two quarters will also be challenging, as there are no new products are expected to be coming before the third quarter of 2013.”

In addition, Gupta opined that users of feature phones worldwide perhaps perceive their existing smartphones as good enough, or they are still waiting for smartphone prices to drop further. According to him, “Either way, the prospect of longer replacement cycles is certainly not good news for both vendors and carriers looking to move users forward.”

Based on the report, total mobile phone sales worldwide for the first quarter of 2013 were approximately 426 million units, an increase of 7 percent from almost 423 million units in the same period last year.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) sold 38.3 million units compared with 100.6 million total units sold by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (LON:BC94) (KSE:005930).

It is also interesting to note that the number of smartphones sold by Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) declined from 83.18 million to 63.2 million units. The Finnish company sold more smartphone units than Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) during this  most recent period.

LG Electronics (KSE:066570) sold more than 15.6 million units, ZTE Corporation (SHE:000063) sold 14.6 million units, and Huawei Technology Co Ltd (SHE:002502) sold 11.11 million units.

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Gupta estimated that more than 226 million mobile phones were sold to end users in Asia and the Pacific region. Asia Pacific accounts 53.1 percent share in the global smartphone market.

According to him, China saw its mobile phone sales increase 7.5 percent in the first quarter of 2013, and its sales represented 25.7 percent of global mobile phone sales, up nearly 2 percentage points year-on-year. The Chinese and local manufacturers have been exemplary at addressing the demands of buyers by offering affordable devices with optimum features such as 2.5G (EDGE) instead of 3G in a smartphone. In the smartphone market, local and Chinese manufacturers are making faster inroads as they account for 29 percent share in the first quarter of 2013, up from 13.2 percent a year ago.