Gartner: Worldwide Mobile Phone Sales Grew 17% in Q1
Worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totalled 314.7 million units in the first quarter of 2010, a 17 per cent increase from the same period in 2009, according to Gartner, Inc. Smarpthone sales to end users reached 54.3 million units, an increase of 48.7 per cent from the first quarter of 2009. Among the most successful vendors were those that controlled an integrated set of operating system (OS), hardware and services.
"In the first quarter of 2010, smartphone sales to end users saw their strongest year-on-year increase since 2006," said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner. "This quarter saw RIM, a pure smartphone player, make its debut in the top five mobile devices manufacturers, and saw Apple increase its market share by 1.2 percentage points. Android's momentum continued into the first quarter of 2010, particularly in North America, where sales of Android-based phones increased 707 per cent year-on-year.
Growth in the mobile devices market was driven by double-digit growth of smartphone sales in mature markets, helped by wider product availability as well as mass market price tags. "Increasing sales of white-box products in some emerging regions, in particular India, also drove sales of mobile phones upward. We expect sales of white-box products to remain very healthy for the remainder of 2010, especially outside of China," said Ms Milanesi.
The first quarter also saw some movement outside the top five mobile handset vendor rankings (see Table 1), Hong Kong-based manufacturer G-Five made its debut into the top 10, grabbing 1.4 per cent of market share in the first quarter of 2010. The rise of white-box manufacturers from Asia has also helped the "others" section, as a proportion of overall sales, increase its market share to 19.20 per cent in the first quarter of 2010, up 2.7 percentage points. "This is having a profound effect on the top five mobile handset manufacturers' combined share that dropped from 73.3 in the first quarter of 2009 to 70.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2010," said Ms Milanesi.
In the first quarter of 2010, Nokia's mobile phone sales to end users reached 110.1 million units, a 1.2 per cent decline in market share year-on-year. Although Nokia's midtier products sold well, Nokia lacks a high-volume driver in the high-end. "MeeGo based devices and other high-end products will not rejuvenate Nokia's premium portfolio until the end of the third quarter of 2010 at the earliest, and Nokia will continue to feel pressure on its average selling price (ASP) from vendors such as HTC, RIM and Samsung," said Ms Milanesi. The reorganisation announced last week demonstrated that Nokia is trying to streamline the reporting process to deliver results quickly, which we believe shows its recognition of the pressure it faces from investors.
Samsung sold 64.9 million devices in the first quarter of 2010, an increase of 26.3 per cent year-on-year. Samsung was one of the five vendors in the top10 vendors ranking to grow its market share, which increased by 1.5 percentage points year-on-year. Samsung saw healthy margins in the first quarter of 2010 and was also able to grow its presence in developing markets such as India and the Commonwealth of Independent States.