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Worldwide smartphone market almost doubles

by Scott Bicheno on 4 November 2010, 18:22

Tags: Samsung (005935.KS), Nokia (NYSE:NOK), IDC

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Galactic growth

This comes as no great surprise, but the stats are impressive nonetheless: the worldwide smartphone market is now almost twice the size it was a year ago.

Market researcher IDC's latest figures show year-on-year growth in Q3 of 89.5 percent, with 81.1 million smartphones shipped. The first three quarters of the year mark a two thirds increase on the same period a year ago, to growth seems to be accelerating.

"That the smartphone market has grown nearly ninety percent from last year and more than six times the overall mobile phone market indicates strong demand worldwide and vendors' collective ability to meet that demand," said Ramon Llamas, analyst with IDC.

"Increasingly, users look to smartphones as their next devices while carriers have broadened selection and offered generous subsidies. To keep up with demand, vendors' plans to emphasize smartphones in their portfolios have resulted in sharp growth as evidenced by Motorola, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson. We expect more vendors to do the same."

Talking of vendors, here's how they did. As you would expect, everyone saw decent growth, although the two vendors with out-of-fashion smartphone operating systems - Nokia and RIM - grew the least. Apple's growth, surprisingly, was only par for the overall smartphone market, while HTC's great year is confirmed.

But look at Samsung: 453.8 percent growth! That's a lot of Waves and Galaxys. Samsung appears to be doing what Nokia would dearly like to do - transfer its virtuosity in the feature-phone market to the smartphone one. It's worth noting, however, their divergent strategies. Nokia will persist with its own OSs because it sees little opportunity to differentiate if it jumps on the Android bandwagon. And who has heard anything about Bada recently?

Maybe Nokia will be able to maintain just enough momentum to cash in by the time MeeGo finally emerges as a viable alternative. In our opinion, with Intel also betting the farm on it, the question is when, not if, that happens.

 

Top Five Smartphone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Q3 2010 (Units in Millions)

Vendor

3Q10 Unit Shipments

3Q10 Market Share

3Q09 Unit Shipments

3Q09 Market Share

Year-over-year Change

Nokia

26.5

32.7%

16.4

38.3%

61.6%

Apple

14.1

17.4%

7.4

17.3%

90.5%

RIM

12.4

15.3%

8.5

19.9%

45.9%

Samsung

7.2

8.9%

1.3

3.0%

453.8%

HTC

5.8

7.2%

2.1

4.9%

176.2%

Others

15.1

18.6%

7.1

16.6%

112.7%

Total

81.1

100.0%

42.8

100.0%

89.5%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 4 November 2010.

 



HEXUS Forums :: 2 Comments

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but has the sale of ‘non-smartphones’ decrerased? Seems that pretty much all you can buy nowerdays is a smartphone anyway so this growth feels more of a development. They are still, afterall, mobile phones.
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but has the sale of ‘non-smartphones’ decrerased? Seems that pretty much all you can buy nowerdays is a smartphone anyway so this growth feels more of a development. They are still, afterall, mobile phones.

Yeah, this essentially tracks the transition from feature-phones to smartphones. The fun bit - for me at least - is all the other cool stuff a large install-base of smartphones opens up.