Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc., South Korea's top two tech firms, are expected to post an all-time high global market share in smartphones in the first quarter of 2014, data showed Monday, widening the gap with their U.S. and Chinese rivals.
Samsung's portion is projected at 36.2 percent, and its smaller rival LG Electronics is anticipated to record a 5.9 percent share, the data by market researcher Strategy Analytics showed.
It will mark the first time for the top two players to grab more than 40 percent of the world's smartphone market. Samsung and LG held a comparable figure of 36.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Samsung, the world's No. 1 maker of smartphones, is expected to continue its dominance with its flagship line-up, such as the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note phablets, the research data said.
Samsung has been expanding its market presence with phablet models, a cross between a smartphone and a tablet computer, which boast larger displays than smartphones and greater portability than tablets.
The Galaxy Note 3 reached the 10-million milestone in the global market in only two months after its launch in September last year.
LG Electronics also rolled out a series of cutting-edge smartphones last year to catch up with its bigger rival at home and abroad, including the LG G2 in August, which is estimated to have reached 3 million units in sales at end-December.
The two also launched ground-breaking curved smartphones late last year to diversify their designs and attract users with different interests.
Apple Inc., which posted a market share of 18.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, is expected to post 17 percent in the January-March period, the data also showed.
Market watchers, however, said Apple's market share will likely rebound in the fourth quarter of 2014, when the U.S. smartphone maker is anticipated to roll out the next flagship model.
Samsung and LG are anticipated to post a combined market share of 37.2 percent in the fourth quarter this year, dented by Apple's rise, they said.
Samsung is slated to launch its next Galaxy line-up, presumably the Galaxy S5, around March or April.
Chinese smartphone makers including Huawei Technologies Co., Lenovo Group Ltd and ZTE Corp. are expected to see their market shares hover below 5 percent in the first quarter, the data said. (Yonhap News)