Apple, HTC, RIM and Nokia posted strong smartphone growth during the third quarter, said IDC. But Samsung was the star with its Galaxy S, posting 454 percent growth.
Samsung, HTC and Apple posted double- and triple-figure growth
during a third quarter that "reached a new milestone," IDC reported
"Smartphone makers have the wind behind their sails," IDC analyst
Kevin Restivo said in the new report, which showed shipments to have
totaled 81.1 million during the quarter - a jump of 89.5 percent from
the 42.8 million units shipped during the third quarter of 2009.
The combined first three quarters of 2010 now total 200.6 million
units, for a growth of 67.6 percent over the 119.6 million phones that
had shipped by the same time last year.
"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," Ramon Llamas, an IDC senior research analyst,
said in a statement. "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."
Nokia, which has been criticized for its failings to compete in the
high-end smartphone market, led the global market with shipments of
26.5 million units and had strong year-on-year growth of 61.6 percent,
following the launch of two new smartphones, the C7 and the N8 - its
first to run the Symbian 3 operating system. Still, its market share
dipped a bit, to 32.7 percent, from 38.3 percent a year earlier, and
its average selling prices "trended down," IDC said.
Apple, posting a year-on-year growth of 90.5 percent, leaped over
Research In Motion into the number-two spot. Thanks to the launch of
the iPhone, Apple's third quarter was once again its strongest, and it
shipped14.1 million iPhones, up from 7.4 million during 2009's third
While dropped to third, RIM nonetheless posted a record-setting
quarter, during which it debuted the Torch 9800, its first BlackBerry
with both a touchscreen and dedicated QWERTY keypad, and shipped 12.4
million units. Its year-on-year growth was 45.9 percent, boosting its
market share to 19.9 percent, from 15.3 percent a year earlier.
But it was fourth-place-finisher Samsung that gets the gold star for
growth. Year over year, Samsung smartphone shipments skyrocketed by
453.8 percent, on shipments of 7.2 million units - up from just 1.3
million the year before, according to IDC.
"This result was based on the worldwide launch of its Galaxy S
Android-powered smartphones and the continued popularity of its Wave
smartphones," stated the IDC report. "Although these devices directly
address the high end of the smartphone market, Samsung is poised to
ship mass market smartphones. Moreover, the company will be one of the
first vendors to ship a Windows Phone 7 device. By the end of the year,
Samsung aims to ship 10 million units for the quarter."
In fifth, relative newcomer HTC posted the second-highest
year-on-year growth figure of 176.2 percent, following shipments of 5.8
million units, up from 2.1 the same time last year. This triple-digit
growth, said IDC, was based on the strength of is Android-powered
lineup. Still, IDC added, "Now that HTC has five Windows Phone 7
devices for launch during [the fourth quarter], the company aims to
ship 9 million units for the quarter."
The launch of new operating systems, said IDC's Llamas, is a way the
vendors are "seeding the market" for continued growth.
"BlackBerry, iPhone, Microsoft and Symbian all announced or launched
refreshed operating systems, with each one providing an improved user
experience over its predecessor," said Llamas. "While these new
operating systems initially appear on high-end devices at launch, they
provide a glimpse of what the broader smartphone market will look like
next year as the OS finds its way into more devices in the market."