Samsung phones

While increasing market saturation and fierce competition in the smartphone space may be a concern, the latest market share stats from IDC show no evidence of Samsung's global lead evaporating anytime soon. Numbers published for the first quarter of the year show the Korean electronics giant with a clear lead over its biggest rivals, having shipped 85 million devices in the first three months of 2014.

Samsung shipped more phones than its top four rivals put together.

The stats show that Samsung shipped more smartphones than Apple (43.7m), Huawei (13.7m), Lenovo (12.9m) and LG (12.3m) combined, though that's not counting the 113.9 shipments by manufacturers grouped into the "other" category. Although Samsung's volume of shipments increased significantly year-on-year (up from 69.7 million in Q1 2013), its market share fell slightly from 31.9 percent to 30.2 percent. Apple, Samsung's bitter rival, reached a new first-quarter record with 43.7 million shipments, an increase of 16.8 percent on Q1 2013; like Samsung, its overall market share fell from 17.1 percent last year to 15.5 percent this year.

Chinese phone makers Huawei and Lenovo also saw strong year-on-year gains, increasing shipments by 47.3 percent and 63.3 percent respectively. And spurred by strong LTE smartphone sales, LG captured 4.4 percent market share. The Korean manufacturer recently revealed that it shipped 5 million LTE-equipped handsets in the first quarter of the year.

Source: IDC