Samsung remained the leader in both total handset shipments and smartphone shipments in the third quarter, according to ABI. Apple ranked third in overall handset shipments in the quarter, trailing Samsung and Nokia, and No. 2 in smartphone shipments, ABI said.
While worldwide smartphone shipments increased 33 percent year-over-year in the third quarter, overall handset shipments declined by 2 percent to 387.3 million, according to ABI.
Smartphone shipments accounted for 40 percent of all handset shipments in the third quarter, up from 39 in the previous quarter, ABI said.
ABI said OEMs need to consider following Samsung's lead in offering a range of smartphone products at ever lower price points to maintain market share growth. The firm expects Samsung and Apple to continue to lead the pack in the premium smartphone segment.
"With the battleground for smartphone supremacy expected to remain unchanged in the near- to mid-term, Samsung’s greatest challenge will be to build a similar strength in tablets where it--and all other Android OEMs--currently trails Apple in 10-inch devices and ASUS and Amazon in 7-inch devices," said Jack Narcotta, an annalyst at Technology Business Research Inc., in a report circulated Friday.
"The strain of rapid growth makes Apple appear to be running out of room at the high end," said Jeff Orr, a senior practice director at ABI. "The company's warning of additional margin pressures with its new device line up make it increasingly difficult for Apple to move downstream to the rapidly growing low-cost smartphone market."