The Smartphone Market Mentions on Social Media – Q2 2013

A recent study published by eBay Deals – “The Great Smartphone Debate” for Q2 2013 – highlighted some of the interesting findings on the smartphone market competitive landscape as well as mentions on different brands across top social media channels. Here is a quick recap of these findings:

The Current Smartphone Landscape – Market Share (Source: IDC)

Smartphones Market ShareIn 2013, smartphones had gained 51.8% of the market share, literally surpassing feature phones for the first time ever. The report projects that smartphone usage will grow to 55.4% in 2014. In Q2 2013, Samsung was the single most successful smartphone vendor, yet they still held only a third of the market at 31.7%. Apple came in second at 14.2% – a one-tenth increase from a year ago.

Smartphone Market Share Q2, 2013

Although, these 2 players dominate less than 50% of the market; the biggest piece of the pie is taken by the “others” such as HTC, Nokia, and BlackBerry. In fact, this quarter, the biggest yet for smartphones, saw 225 million smartphones sold – 1,700 every single minute. Google’s Android is the most popular, used by a massive 79% of phones. Apple’s iOS is second at 13%, and the relatively recent Windows Phone has now reached almost 4%. BlackBerry, once the reigning kings of the smartphone world, has now fallen to a mere 3%.

Smartphones Mentions on Twitter

Smartphone Social MentionsIn September 2013, following the announcement of the iPhone 5S and 5C, eBay Deals sampled 10,000 tweets spanning 10 hours – all of them containing the word “smartphone.” On Twitter, Android was mentioned the most at 558 times, with only 295 for iOS, and an even smaller 120 mentions of Windows. Yet when it came to the brands people were talking about, it became clear the buzz was much different from the market.

Smartphone Social MentionsSmartphone Mentions on Social MediaHowever, in terms of brand mentions, Apple was clearly the most popular and talked about, being mentioned 1,533 times, courtesy iPhone 5S and 5C. On the other hand, Google, only appeared 603 times – less than half that of Apple. Samsung, the single largest smartphone vendor, placed a distant third. The same trend was seen for specific models of phones, iPhone 5 an extraordinary 2,127 times, nearly 10 times as much as the runners-up, Google’s Nexus 4 and the Samsung Galaxy S4. And while the BlackBerry Z10, Sony Xperia Z, and HTC One all placed in the top six, each received less than 100 mentions.

On Google and YouTube Search

Google Smartphone SearchYouTube Smartphone Search

Over the past 6 months, Samsung Galaxy S4 has produced nearly the same number of searches as the iPhone 5. On Google, the iPhone 5 still comes out on top, receiving the most image searches over the last year. But over the past six months, the Samsung Galaxy S4 has emerged as a worthy competitor, producing nearly the same amount of searches as the iPhone 5. Compared to these two juggernauts, the HTC One, Sony Xperia Z, and Google Nexus 4 received hardly any attention. The same pattern of interest showed up in YouTube searches, with iPhone 5 and Galaxy S4 searches at the top – and, after April of this year, the searches for the S4 exceeded those for the iPhone 5.

On flickr

Flickr smartphone mentionsEach smartphone inserts its model name into the photos it takes, and Flickr compiled this data to reveal smartphone popularity over the past year. Of the top 5 most-used smartphones for posting photos to Flickr, 4 were iPhones: the 3G, 4, 4S, and 5. Only the Samsung Galaxy S III approached any of these Apple phones in popularity. When it comes to everyday photography and photo sharing, Flickr says it’s still an iPhone world.

It would have been interesting to see a similar insight from Pinterest. Although it is a female dominated photo sharing social platform, the findings could have highlighted interesting trends on the popularity of smartphones among its users.


Although in terms of sales volume, Samsung clearly beats Apple in market share globally – thanks to its umpteen number of smartphone models perfectly targeting users across different spending slabs, iPhone is certainly the most sought after and discussed on search as well as social media platforms.

As quoted in the report, “To many, “iPhone” has simply become a byword for smartphones in a way that “Samsung Galaxy” just isn’t, and the latest iPhone models seem likely to cement this even further. However, Samsung’s substantial share of the market still leaves them in an excellent position to put up a fight against Apple’s dominance in consumers’ minds, and users now seem to show as much pre-purchase curiosity about the Galaxy line of phones as they do about iPhones.”

Today, mobile users have more choices than ever to find their perfect phone and social media sites & search offer them the perfect tool. Let’s see how these stats change when eBay Deals releases the next version of this amazing insights report.

To download the infographic of these findings, please click here.



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