samsung5A total of 336.5 million smartphones were shipped worldwide by vendors in 2015’s first quarter (1Q’15), 16.7 percent more than the 288.5 million that were shipped in 1Q’14. 1Q’15’s smartphone shipment total was down 10.9 percent from the seasonally strong fourth quarter, when vendors shipped 377.5 million units, according to preliminary data from the latest IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

Overall, vendors shipped 458.9 million smartphones and mobile feature phones combined in 1Q’15. That’s down 0.1 percent as compared to the 459.3 million shipped in 1Q’14, IDC highlights in a press release.

Samsung regained its position as the leading smartphone OEM worldwide in 1Q’15. Although the new S6 wasn’t available for the full quarter, a large volume of shipments to emerging markets and its line-up of lower priced smartphones fueled Samsung’s ascendancy, IDC says.

Samsung’s regaining what amounts to “a clear lead” as the world’s top smartphone OEM came despite “soaring global demand” for second-ranked Apple’s iPhone6 and 6-Plus, IDC Mobile Research Team manager Anthony Scarsella noted.

IDC expects falling smartphone average selling prices (ASPs) will ‘squeeze’ all OEMs. “At the high end it will be a battle between the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge from Samsung versus continued demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus,” Chau added.

Smartphone Shipments
Other highlights from IDC’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker include:

  • Samsung remained the overall market leader thanks to stable demand for its Galaxy S series flagship smartphones overall, as well as increased shipments of lower-end models. Samsung will utilize the two new models to combat Apple as well as to help recover current declining profits heading into the next quarter;
  • Apple continued to find success with larger screened iPhones, which produced its strongest second quarter ever with 61.2 million units shipped. Much of the success this quarter came out of Greater China as rapid 4G adoption, Apple retail expansion, and an increased appetite for premium devices elevated the brand to new levels. Overall, the iPhone grew 40% year over year and a remarkable 63% in emerging markets;
  • Lenovo is once again in the top three, proving that its Motorola acquisition is paying off nicely. Lenovo has strategically positioned both brands and the coinciding models in the proper markets to maximize brand awareness and global reach. Lenovo also unveiled new premium-built handsets at CES with the P90, Vibe X2 pro, and Vibe Shot proving that the company is not just focused on the low-end;
  • Huawei remained in the number four position with a continued push on premium devices from its P-Series and Honor portfolios. Huawei’s mid-range and high-end models accounted for a third of its smartphone shipments in the first quarter, up from just 5% a year ago. Huawei’s Y-series sold briskly both inside and outside of China as a valuable low-cost option in many markets;
  • LG regained the number five spot worldwide from Xiaomi as it once again bet big on entry-level 4G enabled devices as well as focusing on the mid-tier in North America. Its L-series and F-series portfolio succeeded in both emerging and developed markets. LG also shipped the innovative curved G Flex 2, which it showed off at CES earlier in the year. LG’s diverse portfolio, with models ranging in prices, features, and design, enabled the brand to overtake Xiaomi’s more limited geographic presence to hit the top five.

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