Luke Lin, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Monday 26 November 2012]
Entry-level to mid-range smartphones sold to emerging markets will serve as growth drivers for the smartphone industry in 2013. Vendors which offer complete lineups of low-priced to mid-range models, enjoy higher brand images in emerging markets, have established sound cooperation relations with local telecom service providers, or are familiar with the specific retail ecosystems of various markets, are expected to post relatively higher shipment growth in the coming year, according to Digitimes Research.
The ranking of the top-10 smartphone vendors in 2013 will fluctuate drastically as compared to 2012 although Samsung Electronics and Apple will continue to serve as the top-2 brands, Digitimes Research believes.
Sony Mobile Communications, Huawei Device and ZTE will see their rankings leap forward to become third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in 2013 with narrow shipment gaps among the three brands.
Lenovo, which is expected to outperform Motorola Mobility to capture 10th place in 2012, will move up sixth in 2013.
While HTC is expected to retain its number seven position in 2013, LG Electronics will manage to move up to eighth, followed by Nokia and RIM.
Tier-2 brands or regional brands will benefit from demand for entry-level and mid-range models in emerging markets, with their combined shipments accounting for over 20% of total smartphone shipments in 2013, Digitimes Research estimates.