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The worldwide smartphone market grew 38.8% year-over-year in the third quarter of 2013 (3Q13), according to the IDC research group (www.idc.com).
Vendors shipped a total of 258.4 million smartphones in 3Q13, establishing a new record for units shipped in a single quarter by more than 9.0%. The previous high was 237.0 million units shipped in the second quarter of 2013.
In the worldwide mobile phone market (inclusive of smartphones), vendors shipped 467.9 million units in 3Q13 compared to the 442.7 million units shipped in 3Q12, representing 5.7% year-over-year growth. Third quarter shipments were up 7.0% when compared to the 437.4 million units shipped in 2Q13.
Samsung maintained its leadership position, shipping more units than the next four vendors combined, according to IDC. Samsung's flagship models received the lion's share of attention during 3Q13, with more carriers adding the Galaxy S4, continued demand for the Galaxy S III, and the introduction of the Galaxy Note 3. Despite the popularity of those models, it was the company's long line of mass-market smartphones that helped fuel volumes to reach a new record level, says IDC.
Apple's total volumes speak to the early success of the iPhones 5S and 5C, and the softening demand of older devices prior to the new models launching, according to the research group. Apple enjoyed a record nine million units shipped in the debut of the iPhone 5s and 5c.
"The third quarter was up substantially over the previous quarter, which was also a record quarter for shipments, showing the real momentum of the smartphone market," says Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. "Price points have declined significantly, driven largely by low-cost Android solutions. This has helped China to become one of the fastest growing smartphone markets in the world, accounting for more than one third of all shipments last quarter. We expect this trend to continue going forward."