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Mobile phone market gathers momentum

by Scott Bicheno on 23 February 2010, 11:23

Tags: Gartner (NYSE:IT)

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Market in motion

Market researcher Gartner has echoed the findings of competitor IDC by announcing a good end to last year for mobile phone sales. While there was a 0.9 percent decline over the whole year, Q4 registered 8.3 percent year-on-year growth.

"The mobile devices market finished on a very positive note, driven by growth in smartphones and low-end devices," said Carolina Milanesi, research director at Gartner. "Smartphone sales to end users continued their strong growth in the fourth quarter of 2009, totalling 53.8 million units, up 41.1 per cent from the same period in 2008.

"In 2009, smartphone sales reached 172.4 million units, a 23.8 per cent increase from 2008. In 2009, smartphone-focused vendors like Apple and Research In Motion (RIM) successfully captured market share from other larger device producers, controlling 14.4 and 19.9 per cent of the worldwide smartphone market, respectively."

The figures confirm Nokia still at number one, but Samsung and LG closing fast. However, the Koreans will be keen to make a bigger noise in the smartphone market - as Samsung attempted with the Wave at MWC 2010 - to capitalise on the biggest mobile phone growth area.

Thanks to Nokia, Symbian remains the biggest smartphone OS, but it's losing share fast and Nokia itself is likely to focus most of its resources on the new MeeGo OS joint-venture with Intel. Symbian will remain in high volumes in lower-end smartphones, but is likely to be overtaken as number one in the next few years.


Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 2009 (Thousands of Units)

Company

2009 Units

2009
Market
Share (%)

2008 Units

2008
Market
Share (%)

Symbian

80,878.6

46.9

72,933.5

52.4

Research In Motion

34,346.6

19.9

23,149.0

16.6

iPhone OS

24,889.8

14.4

11,417.5

8.2

Microsoft Windows Mobile

15,027.6

8.7

16,498.1

11.8

Linux

8,126.5

4.7

10,622.4

7.6

Android

6,798.4

3.9

640.5

0.5

WebOS

1,193.2

0.7

NA

NA

Other OSs

1,112.4

0.6

4,026.9

2.9

Total

172,373.1

100.0

139,287.9

100.0

Source: Gartner (February 2010)

 



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