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Top 10 Phone Manufacturers of 2014

Top 10 Phone Manufacturers of 2014
July 31
15:51 2013

Smartphone manufacturers are constantly competing to release the latest devices with the most impressive spec – always attempting to outdo each other in terms of speed, cameras and any other way possible.

This has resulted in some extremely impressive devices on the market, with smartphones that come with quad-core processors, 13-megapixel cameras and even the ability to go under water (if you have attempted this with a non-waterproof phone please see this post). This means that a mobile phone can now be someone’s entire life and the need for top tech has never been greater.

But who’s providing the goods? Whose devices are selling the most? And the biggest question of all – who’s the top phone manufacturer of 2014? Check out the top ten phone manufacturers below.

1. Samsung

South Korea Samsung

Samsung headquarters in South Korea


In 2013, Samsung had the biggest annual sales, totalling 396.5 million units, and it still currently holds the over 27% of the mobile market share according to ABI Research. Shipments went through the roof towards the end of last year, with Galaxy S4 topping 20 million within a couple of months. Apple’s iPhone 5S and 5C did reach a record 9 million sales over the opening weekend – so Samsung have a while to go yet. 

Samsung’s just revealed its Galaxy S5 smartphone – and it’s all looking pretty impressive – so it will be interesting to see how the manufacturer fairs this year.

2. Nokia

Nokia have been working on some impressive camera phone ideas this year

Nokia have been working on some impressive camera phone ideas this year

Let’s face it, Nokia have had legendary status ever since that ringtone (we really wish this one had made it) and the brick that is the 3310. Then again, it might not be the first manufacturer you’d name when talking about the top smartphone manufacturers today.

Nokia actually came second when it comes to biggest annual sales in 2013, with 385.6 million sold – that really dwarfs Apple’s 135.8 million units. The manufacturer is actually proving itself to be a big competitor – especially with the release of the new Nokia Lumia, which comes with a 41-megapixel camera.

3. Apple

The proposed design for Apple’s new campus

The proposed design for Apple’s new campus

So it might have been dwarfed by Samsung and Nokia, but 135.8 million sales is still pretty impressive. Combine this with the fact that iPhone 5S and 5C sales topped 9 million units in three days, and the fact shipments are still at 37.4 million and you have some extremely happy Apple executives.

4. ZTE

ZTE is continuing to become a popular name, especially in the US

ZTE is continuing to become a popular name, especially in the US

Now we’ve covered the top three the figures go down a bit, but they are still impressive by any standards. ZTE isn’t a brand you would necessarily imagine to be within the top five on the list, at least in the UK, but the manufacturer is extremely popular in countries like the US, Australia and Germany. Its sales reached 75.7 million last year and despite not keeping up with smartphone leaders as far as shipments are concerned so far in 2013 – it still shipped 16.9 million units.
Experts think that ZTE will continue to be successful if they expand their strength of producing strong, low cost devices.

5. LG

Who knows what lies ahead for LG without the next Nexus

Who knows what lies ahead for LG without the next Nexus

LG really put themselves back on the map with the release of the Nexus 5 last year – a must have for any true Android fan. Annual sales hit 55.9 million and within the first quarter of this year shipments hit 16.2 million – not far at all behind ZTE.

ABI Research has predicted that they need to focus on mid-range smartphones to move up the list of top manufacturers over the next few years. It seems that LG could be aiming high though – it recently showed off its thinnest full HD smartphone panel ever and revealed the first ever flexible smartphone.

The manufacturers that didn’t quite make the cut

6. Huawei

Here’s a manufacturer you wouldn’t necessarily expect to be in the top ten. Huawei-who?! Huawei have been screaming ‘we’re here, we’re here’ throughout all of – announcing the world’s slimmest smartphone amongst other things – and they are showing up more and more in emerging international markets like China. More recently the manufacturer revealed a new 4G LTE device at Mobile World Congress, so it’s clear they’re still trying to get our attention.

7. Sony

Sony seems to have moved down the list over the past couple of years, losing spec pace when compared to the mammoth releases from Samsung and highly anticipated iPhone models from Apple. It’s still up in our top ten list though, as advances with the Xperia range camera has keep it in the running. We’ve been especially impressed by the release of the Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z1 Compact recently – so it could well be moving up the list soon.

8. BlackBerry

It’s safe to say that 2013 wasn’t the best year for BlackBerry. Disappointing sales of its flagship Z10 and Q10 led to production of both devices being cut. BlackBerry handsets used to be known as the business phones, but with all smartphones now allowing you to carry your life in your pocket BlackBerry seem to have fallen behind. It looks like the manufacturer is trying to branch out by offering its BBM to other operating systems. ABI thinks it needs to head back to the QWERTY keyboard for success.

9. HTC

This is another brand that’s had a difficult 2013 – which has resulted in the manufacturer letting a lot of people go and losing some executives to other projects. It’s still in our top ten list, probably due to the success of the popular HTC One (we’re pretty excited to see the HTC One 2 too) but with projects such as the HTC First ‘Facebook phone’ failing hugely, HTC still needs to work a few things out.

10. Motorola

As one of the oldest and most established mobile phone manufacturers in the world, it does seem a little sad to see Motorola so far down on the list, but in truth it is failing to keep up with its peers. Give us more devices like the Moto X and Moto G though and things might start to change.

Which mobile phone manufacturer do you think is the best? Do you think Apple could go up in the list with the release of its new models? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below, on our wall, tweeting us or popping your head round on Google Plus. We’re a friendly bunch so feel free to ask any questions too.

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Sami Colenutt is a tech enthusiast and writer for CompareMyMobile.com. She writes about anything from the latest mobile phones to the environmental benefits of recycling your old gadgets in the right way. You can follow her on Twitter, Google+ or Linkedin.
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