New Delhi: The worldwide smartphone market hit a milestone in 2013 with over billion units being shipped in a single year for the first time, and a third by Samsung, says the latest data from research firm IDC.
The data showed that Samsung emerged as the world's biggest vendor, accounting for 31.3 per cent of sales, ahead of Apple's 15.3 per cent.
IDC said the smartphone shipments grew 38.4 per cent from 2012. The survey showed that smartphones made up 55 per cent of the total mobile phone shipments of 1.8 billion.
"The sheer volume and strong growth attest to the smartphone's continued popularity in 2013," says Ramon Llamas, an IDC analyst.
"Total smartphone shipments reached 494.4 million units worldwide in 2011, and doubling that volume in just two years demonstrates strong end-user demand and vendor strategies to highlight smartphones."
While Samsung saw growth of 42.9 per cent, Apple saw 12.9 per cent growth, slower than the overall market, resulting in a declining market share.
At the same time, the third spot was held by China's Huawei which garnered a 4.9 per cent market share, ahead of South Korea's LG (4.8 per cent) and Chinese maker Lenovo (4.5 per cent), IDC said.
The survey showed that Android, the free operating system from Google, remained on top in Europe and most other major markets outside Japan. Android ended 2013 as the top platform across the five major markets in Europe with 68.6 per cent share, while Apple held second place with 18.5 per cent.
Windows Phone showed strong year-on-year growth, and in Italy captured 17.1 per cent of the market, ahead of Apple's 12.8 per cent, but behind Android's 66.2 per cent, according to the survey.
In the United States, the survey showed Android's share rising more than four per centage points over the past year to 50.6 per cent, while Apple's share declined to 43.9 per cent.
In Japan, Apple held 68.7 per cent of smartphone sales.
In China, Android's share increased to 78.6 per cent while Apple's declined to 19 per cent.
(With Agencies inputs)