Mobility leaders under pressure, says IDC

Competitive pressure continued to pile on the mobile sector market leaders through the second calendar quarter of 2010, according to new figures from analysts at IDC. Overall, 317.5 million handset units shipped during the second quarter, up 14.5% on the same period last year, said IDC's Worldwide Q

Competitive pressure continued to pile on the mobile sector market leaders through the second calendar quarter of 2010, according to new figures from analysts at IDC.

Overall, 317.5 million handset units shipped during the second quarter, up 14.5% on the same period last year, said IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

However, this growth was driven primarily by vendors outside the top five, said IDC's senior research analyst Ramon Llamas.

"Companies with a strict focus on the smartphone market, like RIM, Apple and HTC, have clearly benefited from steadily increasing user interest," he said.

"But it's not just smartphone vendors that have driven the market forward - it's also the companies with a presence among entry-level handsets and mid-range devices, which have long been the domain of the worldwide leaders," he continued.

The market leader remained, by far and away Nokia, which shipped 111 million units and took 35% of the market, down 2.2% on Q2'09, in spite of its well-publicised troubles.

Second place was held by Samsung, with 18.9% of the market, while fellow Korean manufacturer LG accounted for 10.8% of sales.

The top five was rounded out by RIM and Sony Ericsson, which both accounted for 3.5% of the market, RIM up from 2.9% this time last year, and Sony Ericsson down from 5%.

Llamas cautioned that the market leaders should not be written off and said he expected them to put in a stronger showing through the back half of 2010: "Each is in the midst of refreshing its respective product portfolio, with greater emphasis on smartphones during the second half."

However, IDC said upward pressure from vendors outside the top five, notably Apple and Motorola, would continue, adding that companies with strategies pegged to Android should do particularly well.

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