Smartphones outshipped feature phones for the first time in Q1 2013, with the iPhone reaching a new first-quarter personal high for shipments. Apple had the second-highest number of smartphones shipped, coming in behind Samsung. IDC noted that the iPhone did experience a slowdown in growth compared to the same quarter last year.
Apple's smartphone shipment volume hit a new first-quarter high thanks in part to the iPhone 5, with volume growing 6.6% year over year. However, the last time the iPhone maker posted a single-digit year-over-year growth rate was 3Q09. The iPhone maker has held the second spot in the smartphone rankings for the past five quarters. Apple's mix of models shipped to market is increasingly diversified as it tries to reach new buyers.
Samsung, of course, sells many different models of phones, while Apple only sells three, and Samsung doesn’t sell every phone in every country. Apple may have the lead in the United States, but Samsung continues to fulfill a demand in countries where the iPhone has no presence or is more expensive than anything Samsung offers. Apple may be looking to compete in these countries with the rumored low-cost iPhone, bringing a more affordable device to places where phone subsidies are either uncommon or non-existent, and threatening Samsung’s position as the world leader in smartphones.