Global mobile handset market has grown 14.6% in the third quarter, making it the fourth consecutive quarter with double digit growth. A total of 340.5 million handsets were shipped when compared with previous quarter’s 297.1 million units. These are shipments and doesn’t necessarily translate to sales. Smart phones or converged mobile device category is one of the main reasons for this surge. Though an exact split between smart phones and regular phone is not available.
Apple for the first time has moved past Research in Motion (RIM) to occupy fourth place. This pushes RIM to fifth place. Apple and RIM are the two smartphone-only vendors in the top 5, signifying the popularity of smart phones.
"The smartphone is becoming the focal point of the personal communications experience," noted Restivo. "As a result, new market growth will be increasingly generated by smartphones. This year, we are expecting the smartphone sub-market to grow 55% year over year." (IDC)
Nokia, which is revamping its smart phone strategy, is still a market leader with 32.4% market share in shipments. Sony Ericsson has dropped from the top 5 list. It has shipped 10.2 million handsets. Samsung and LG occupied second and third positions respectively.
Nokia and Samsung together command a 53% of market share. Interestingly, Nokia and Samsung command a same market share in India. Spice Mobile, G’Five and Micromax are the Indian vendors who figure in the top 5 list. Nokia continues to feel the heat from global markets as well as in India.
Competitive forces emerged in the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) region last quarter to the detriment of market leader Nokia. In emerging markets, brands such as Micromax, Nexian, and i-Mobile chipped away at Nokia’s market share. Android-powered smartphones also gained momentum across the region at the expense of Nokia. Samsung gained ground in South Korea while Huawei, Lenovo, and ZTE launched devices in several markets. In Japan, mobile phone market growth was driven primarily by domestic vendors Sharp, Panasonic, Fujitsu, and NEC.
A brief note about Apple and RIM. RIM makes the famous Blackberry phones and there are many models which are shipped. Blacberry Torch is its latest offering. Apple on the other hand sells only one product – iPhone. Just one product. There are generations of iPhone like 2G, 3G, 3G S and 4G, but that’s about it. A company which sells only one phone model has managed to ship 14.1 million devices and gained a 4.1% market share. That sure tells you something about Apple. Others who are a little late to the smart phone party have woken up to this rude shock.