IDC: 5 Smartphone Vendors Driving The Market's Explosive Growth

Smartphone Surge

The smartphone market has never looked better.

Market-research firm IDC stated in a new report, released Thursday, that the global market exploded more than 11 percent in the second quarter of 2015 from the same quarter last year -- the second highest shipment total for a single quarter.

’Key flagship devices for Samsung, Apple, LG and others helped elevate shipments, but more importantly the plethora of affordable handsets that continue to drive shipments in many key markets was a huge contributing factor,’ Anthony Scarsella, research manager for IDC's mobile phone team, told CRN.

Despite the smartphone market's success, one important vendor faced challenges in the past quarter. Following are the top five smartphone vendors globally in the second quarter.

5. Lenovo's Play For Emerging Markets

Chinese vendor Lenovo took a spot in the top five smartphone vendors for the second quarter.

The smartphone company was able to offset tight competition from rivals Xiaomi and Huawei in its primary market, China, by targeting emerging markets. In India, for instance, Lenovo's A600 and A7000 entry-level and midrange models thrived. Meanwhile, the company's affordable Moto E and entry-level Moto G devices did well in the Americas and Europe.

Lenovo took 4.8 percent of the smartphone market in the second quarter with 16.2 million shipments, bumping it up 2.4 percent over the same quarter last year.

Looking ahead, Lenovo's third-generation Moto X and Moto G launches will continue to spur growth for the smartphone giant in the second half of 2015, according to IDC.

4. Xiaomi Builds On Success In China

Xiaomi once again faced another quarter of explosive growth by continuing to capitalize on its success in China, with both entry-level devices and premium handsets.

According to IDC, the Mi Note helped grow the company's shipments up to 29.4 percent year over year. In addition to the Mi Note, which has a large screen and budget price that challenge the iPhone 6 Plus, the Redmi 2 handsets helped the company sustain growth in the second quarter.

Xiaomi took 5.3 percent of the smartphone market with 17.9 million shipments in the second quarter. Looking ahead, the company will continue to expand outside the Asia-Pacific region to countries such as Brazil.

3. Huawei's Growth Is Steepest

Huawei, the vendor with the third most shipments in the second quarter, saw the most growth of all companies, with a staggering 48.1 percent year-over-year growth.

The company is known for its midrange and high-end models, and its sales in Europe were particularly strong in the second quarter, according to IDC.

Huawei took 8.9 percent of the smartphone market share with 29.9 million shipments, due to success with its flagship P8, Honor Series and Mate 7 handsets. The company also is reaching the U.S. market with the launch of its affordable P8 Lite handset.

2. Apple's iPhone Sales Dominate

Apple's iPhone sales once again pushed the Cupertino, Calif.-based company into the forefront. The smartphone company was the second biggest vendor in the second quarter, as it continued to dominate in China.

Apple took 14.1 percent of the market share with 47.5 million phone shipments, up nearly 35 percent from the same quarter last year. Demand for the company's large-screened iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices, as well as the expansion of 4G networks in China, helped the company drive growth in the Asia-Pacific market.

Apple will continue to thrive in the coming quarter with its upgrade offerings and refreshed iPhone 6S models, according to IDC.

1. Samsung Struggles

Samsung may have snagged the top global vendor for smartphone shipments, but the South Korean company was the only vendor to face a declining number of shipments in the second quarter.

Samsung took 21.7 percent of the smartphone market with 73.2 million shipments. However, that's 2.3 percent less than the same quarter last year, despite the fact that the company's signature Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge were released in April.

The Galaxy S6 faced issues due to a limited supply of the Edge models that did not keep up with demand. Despite the disappointments of the Galaxy S6, shipments of older Galaxy models buoyed Samsung because of deep discounts and promotions throughout the quarter, said IDC.

Samsung will continue to push ahead with the rumored early release of its Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus in August, according to IDC.