Smartphone market sees strengthening growth

Worldwide shipments of smartphones hit 55.2 million during the first three months of the year with growth hitting 67% year-on-year, according to a new report from Canalys. Despite taking flak for being behind the pack in terms of smartphone development and delays to its Symbian operating system,

Worldwide shipments of smartphones hit 55.2 million during the first three months of the year with growth hitting 67% year-on-year, according to a new report from Canalys.

Despite taking flak for being behind the pack in terms of smartphone development and delays to its Symbian operating system, Finnish stalwart Nokia continued to dominate the market, shipping over 21 million units and accounting for 38.8% of the market. It is also gaining strength in developing markets, according to Canalys.

Blackberry-maker Research in Motion held the second spot with 19.2% of the market thanks to its dominance in the business world, while challenger Apple took 15.9% of the market after shipping 8.7 million iPhones during the quarter.

The top five was rounded out by HTC and Motorola, which commanded market shares of 5.1% and 4.7% respectively. Other notable performers were Sony Ericsson and Palm.

Referring to last week's acquisition of Palm by Hewlett-Packard, Canalys senior analyst Pete Cunningham said Palm would be able to develop its webOS operating system - a key factor in the acquisition - into a competitive force in the market.

"The combined assets of Palm's platform and culture with HP's geographical reach, extensive and loyal channel partnerships and solid financial position will form a formidable force in the future," he said.

"Growing consumer awareness and demand for smartphones and associated services will provoke substantial volume increases over the next two years, bringing many opportunities," added Cunningham.

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