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iPhone, Android win big in 3Q10

Ian Grant

Apple and Android were the big winners as worldwide mobile phone sales totalled 417 million units in the third quarter of 2010, 35% up from the same period in 2009, according to market analyst Gartner.

Smartphone sales grew 96% to account for 19.3% of overall mobile phone sales in the third quarter of 2010.

"Apple's share of the smartphone market surpassed Research In Motion (RIM) in North America to put it second behind Android while Android volumes also grew rapidly making it the number two operating system worldwide," said Carolina Milanesi, research vice-president at Gartner.

However Nokia, Samsung and LG were the volume leaders, albeit with reduced market share.

Milanesi said white-box manufacturers continued to extend their reach outside China into India, Russia, Africa and Latin America. "We firmly believe this will not be short-lived as we still see a continued need for non-3G devices. Although we have seen acceleration in sales this quarter, we expect an even bigger volume in the fourth quarter of 2010," said Milanesi.

White-box manufacturers increasing their market share to 33.0% in the third quarter of 2010. "The top five mobile handset manufacturers' combined share dropped from 83% to 66.9% in the third quarter of 2010 as a result," said Milanesi.

Worldwide Mobile Terminal Sales to End Users in 3Q10 (Thousands of Units)

Company 3Q10 Units 3Q10 Market Share (%) 3Q09 Units 3Q09 Market Share (%)
Nokia 117,461.0 28.2 113,466.2 36.7
Samsung 71,671.8 17.2 60,627.7 19.6
LG 27,478.7 6.6 31,901.4 10.3
Apple 13,484.4 3.2 7,040.4 2.3
Research In Motion 11,908.3 2.9 8,522.7 2.8
Sony Ericsson 10,346.5 2.5 13,409.5 4.3
Motorola 8,961.4 2.1 13,912.8 4.5
HTC 6,494.3 1.6 2,659.5 0.9
ZTE 6,003.6 1.4 4,143.7 1.3
Huawei Technologies 5,478.1 1.3 3,339.7 1.1
Others 137,797.6 33.0 49,871.1 16.1
Total 417,085.7 100.0 308,894.7 100.0

Source: Gartner (November 2010)

The third quarter of 2010 produced record sales of more than 81 million smartphones based on open operating systems. Android accounted for 25.5% of worldwide smartphone sales, making it the number two operating system (OS). It was particularly dominant in North America.

Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 3Q10 (Thousands of Units)

Company 3Q10 Units 3Q10 Market Share (%) 3Q09 Units 3Q09 Market Share (%)
Symbian 29,480.1 36.6 18,314.8 44.6
Android 20,500.0 25.5 1,424.5 3.5
iOS 13,484.4 16.7 7,040.4 17.1
Research In Motion 11,908.3 14.8 8,522.7 20.7
Microsoft Windows Mobile 2,247.9 2.8 3,259.9 7.9
Linux 1,697.1 2.1 1,918.5 4.7
Other OS 1,214.8 1.5 612.5 1.5
Total 80,532.6 100.0 41,093.3 100.0

Source: Gartner (November 2010)

"Smartphone OS providers have entered a period of accelerated platform evolution, stimulated by more regular product releases, new platform entrants and new device types," said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner. "Any platform that fails to innovate quickly - either through a vibrant multi-player ecosystem or clear vision of a single controlling entity - will lose developers, manufacturers, potential partners and ultimately users."

Gartner now expects overall devices sales for 2010 to show more than 30% year-on-year growth, fuelled by white-box manufacturers. The impact of media tablets on mobile device sales will be tested in 2011, Gartner said as it forecast that sales of media tablets (such as the Apple iPad) will reach 54.8 million units in 2011.

Nokia announced this week that it would take back control of the development of Symbian from the Symbian foundation as it continued development of MeeGo, its high-end operating system.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has just given Symbian €11m to develop an embedded version of the operating system. As such it could become the operating system that drives sensor-based devices to control road vehicles, traffic flows, medical monitors, smart meters, and other wireless process control equipment. The potential market runs to billions of devices, a nice fillip to Synibian's existing 400 million installed base.


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