Samsung can no longer play the underdog in the smart device industry as it is shaping up to be one of the largest smart mobile device (this category includes smartphones, tablets and notebooks) manufacturers on the planet. According to a report by analyst firm Canalys, Samsung shipped 82.7 million smart mobile devices in the first quarter of this year, extending its market share to 26.6 percent.

Moreover, Samsung’s smartphone volumes grew by 64 percent as compared to the same period last year, extending its market share to more than 32 percent—a great deal larger than Apple’s 6.7 percent. However, despite slowing growth, Apple still shipped more than 37 million smartphones in the period.

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Leading the smartphone pack

The total smart mobile device shipments in Q1 2013 reached 308.7 million, a growth of 37.4 percent as compared to the same period last year. Of this 308.7 million, shipments of Android smartphones hit 216.3 million (59.5 percent), a growth of 47.9 percent this quarter. Apple accounted for 19.3 percent of this figure, shipping 59.6 million units in the quarter. Microsoft had an 18.1 percent share, reflecting its strong hold over the PC market as well as its relatively weak position in the tablet and smartphone spaces.

Canalys noted that the tablet market was the fastest growing segment of the three; tablet shipments in the quarter grew 106.1 percent vis-a-vis the same period last year, reaching 41.9 million units. Samsung hasn’t been able to steal the lead in this segment and Apple continues to lead with a 46.4 percent share. However, Android has continued to eat into Apple’s share in this segment.

However, the increasing smartphone sales have affected the notebook PC market rather adversely. Notebook PC shipments reached only 50.5 million units, a fall in growth of 13.1 percent as compared to Q1 2012. Canalys notes that the biggest fall in notebook PC shipments was in Western Europe—a 25.2 percent fall year-on-year. 

“While there are macroeconomic factors that contribute to this ongoing trend, the impact of tablets must not be understated,” said Canalys Research Analyst, Pin-Chen Tang. “The combination of ARM-based chipsets and Android has taken computing devices to new, lower price points. If Microsoft and Intel are serious about capitalizing on this exploding market, both will need to ensure that their OEMs can remain competitive on price.”

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