31 January 2011

Apple, RIM and HTC gain handset market share in 2010

In nearly all parts of the world, the appetite of consumers for purchasing the latest handsets has not abated, according to Jake Saunders, VP for forecasting for ABI Research, which estimates that 390 million handsets and smartphones were shipped in fourth-quarter 2010 (up 15.6% year-on-year). Overall, that takes the total number of handsets shipped in 2010 to 1.36 billion, a remarkable turnaround from contraction of 4.4% year-on-year in 2009.

Nokia’s market share slid marginally to 31.7%, because its revamped smartphone portfolio has yet to gain traction. Samsung made marginal gains in market share (to 20.7%). Its smartphones, including the Galaxy-S, have helped to strengthen its competitiveness in the smartphone sector. However, in the overall handset market the vendor is treading water.

Apple’s iPhone 4 continues to capture a growing chunk of the smartphone market (4.2%). RIM also showed respectable gains (3.6%) due to a refreshed lineup of keyboard smartphones as well as a hybrid touch-screen/keyboard smartphone (the 'Torch'). Other overall handset market share 'winners' include HTC, Huawei, ZTE and TCL.

LG (7.8%), Sony-Ericsson (2.9%) and Motorola (2.9%) all contracted in global handset market share. However, Motorola has continued to show quarter-on-quarter growth.

A number of vendors have jettisoned their global handset market-share aspirations and are instead focusing their resources and expertise on growing their high-end smartphone market share, says ABI Research. Over time, a number of Chinese and Indian handset vendors will corner an increasing slice of the global handset market. They are introducing aggressively priced handsets and smartphones that cater to the needs of emerging market consumers as well as mobile operators looking for operator-branded handsets. “Huawei,
ZTE and TCL/Alcatel Mobile are being joined by Indian vendors Micromax and Spice Mobile as regional and global handset movers and shakers,” comments mobile devices VP and practice director Kevin Burden.

Handset vendors are not the only beneficiaries. Due to the smartphone boom, chipset companies ARM and Qualcomm have both had one of their best financial performances, while MediaTek is angling to capture the low-end smartphone segment, says ABI Research.

See related items:

Handset shipments reach 400 million in Q4/2010

Smartphone sales grow 66% in 2010

Tags: Mobile handset shipments Smartphones

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