Embedded Linux powered 14 percent of smart phones shipped worldwide in Q1 of 2005, up 412 percent from 3.4 percent in Q1 2004, according to Gartner Inc. Windows Mobile shipments also grew substantially, rising 50 percent from a 2.9 share in Q1 2004 to 4.5 percent in Q1 2005, Gartner says.
Additionally, Gartner says smart phones comprise the fastest-growing portion of the “mobile terminal” market, with sales expected to double year-over-year in 2006, reaching 200 million by 2008. “Smart phone sales broke all records in the first quarter of 2005, and we expect them to double year on year to 2006,” said Roberta Cozza, a principal analyst at Gartner.
According to Gartner, worldwide mobile terminal sales reached 180 million units in Q1 2005, a first-quarter record. Nokia, Motorola and Samsung all increased their market shares compared with the same period in 2004. Siemens, the worlds tenth-largest company, meanwhile conceded two percentage points.
Of the 180 million mobile terminals shipped in Q1 2005, Gartner says 8.4 million were “smart phones”—devices with complex operating systems such as Linux, Symbian, Palm OS or Windows Mobile. In other words, about 1.2 million Linux smart phones shipped in Q1 2005, along with just under 400,000 Windows Mobile devices.
Gartner had not responded to a request for specifics about the market shares of Symbian and Palm OS by press time. However, Symbian remains the worldwide smart phone market share leader, according to market research from a variety of analyst firms.