'Smart' Device Shipments Top 300 Million in Q1 as Android Dominates


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Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG ) popular OS continued to dominate as smart device (notebooks, tablets and smartphone) shipments rose 37.4 percent during the first quarter of 2013. According to independent analyst firm Canalys , total smart device shipments reached 308.7 million units. Android led the pack by powering 59.5 percent of all smart devices, while Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) came in second place with 19.3 percent of the market.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) garnered an impressive 18.1 percent share of the market, mostly thanks to Windows 7 and the growth of Windows 8 notebooks.

"Spearheaded by Google and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ), the commoditization of the tablet market has happened far quicker than that of the wider PC market," Canalys Senior Analyst Tim Coulling wrote in his report. "Profit margins are being squeezed and vendors without a low cost structure will find it hard to compete. A solid range of must-have accessories and a software and services strategy are vital as vendors will increasingly need to make revenue around their devices."

Tablet growth continued to surpass the smartphone and notebook markets, rising 106.1 percent year-on-year. Total tablet shipments reached 41.9 million units -- nearly half of them were from Apple, which commanded 46.4 percent of the market.

While Android has increased its share on a per quarter basis (through the sale of dozens of tablets from multiple vendors), the iPad still leads the market with more than 120 million units sold through the end of last year.

When sales of the March quarter are included, Apple has sold approximately 139.5 million iPads worldwide.

Overall, the smartphone segment is also doing quite well. Shipments rose 47.9 percent to 216.3 million. As expected, Android dominated the market with 75.6 percent of total shipments.

Canalys did not say how much of the market Apple commanded, but that is not hard to figure out. With sales of 37.4 million iPhones last quarter, Apple sold roughly 17 percent of the total units shipped.

That's not a bad achievement, especially since it represents a 35.1 percent increase for Apple versus the year-ago period.

In terms of annual growth, however, Canalys' research showed that Apple only rose 6.7 percent. That is the lowest level of growth that Apple has experienced since the release of the original iPhone in 2007.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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