Mobile Phone Buyers Flock to Smartphones

By Jessica Davis  |  Posted 2009-05-22 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Smartphone unit sales--including Nokia units, Apple iPhone, Google/T-Mobile's G2, and RIM's BlackBerry, among others--are grabbing more of the overall mobile phone market share, according to a new report. App stores and services are driving the higher sales.

Looking for another recession-proof technology to sell or integrate into customer sites? Smartphone unit sales—including units from Nokia, the Apple iPhone, the Google Android-based phone from T-Mobile and RIM's BlackBerry, among others—climbed to more than 36.4 million units worldwide, a 12.7 percent increase from the same period a year ago, according to a new report from Gartner.

That compares with sales of standard mobile phones, which fell 8.6 percent year over year in Q1, the market research company reports.  Gartner says the channel increased its efforts to reduce inventory during Q1 in an effort to minimize capital investment in response to low consumer confidence. 

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Gartner says that smartphone sales represented 13.5 percent of all mobile device sales in Q1 2009, compared with 11 percent in Q1 2008.  Services and applications helped drive the success of smartphones, according to Gartner.

"Much of the smartphone growth during the first quarter of 2009 was driven by touchscreen products, both in midtier and high-end devices," says Roberta Cozza, principal analyst at Gartner, in a prepared statement. "'Touch for the sake of touch' was enough of a driver in the midtier space, but tighter integration with applications and services around music, mobile email, and Internet browsing made the difference at the high end of the market."

Gartner says that Symbian accounts for 49.3 percent of worldwide smartphone operating systems market share in the Q1 2009, down from 56.9 percent share in the first quarter of 2008. RIM’s smartphone OS market share reached 19.9 percent in Q1 of 2009, up from 13.3 percent share in Q1 of last year. The iPhone OS accounted for 10.8 percent of the market, up from 5.3 percent market share in the first quarter of 2008.

"With inventory-reduction efforts expected to continue in the second quarter of 2009, although to a lesser extent than what we have seen so far, and better-than-expected figures for the first quarter of 2009, we remain confident that overall sales to users for 2009 will remain considerably higher than the sell-in that many vendors are expecting," Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi says. "Device vendors will focus increasingly on smart phones, improved user interfaces and services to differentiate themselves and fuel consumer demand. We maintain our view that sales to users will decrease by about 4 percent for 2009 compared with 2008, while sell-in will slow to around a 10 percent decrease."

Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users in 1Q09 (Thousands of Units)

 

Company

 

 

1Q09

 

 

 Sales

 

 

1Q09 Market

 

 

 Share (%)

 

 

1Q08

 

 

 Sales

 

 

1Q08 Market

 

 

 Share (%)

 

 

Nokia

 

 

14,991.2

 

 

41.2

 

 

14,588.6

 

 

45.1

 

 

Research In Motion

 

 

7,233.6

 

 

19.9

 

 

4,311.8

 

 

13.3

 

 

Apple

 

 

3,938.8

 

 

10.8

 

 

1,725.3

 

 

5.3

 

 

HTC

 

 

1,957.3

 

 

5.4

 

 

1,276.9

 

 

4.0

 

 

Fujitsu

 

 

1,387.0

 

 

3.8

 

 

1,317.5

 

 

4.1

 

 

Others

 

 

6,896.4

 

 

18.8

 

 

9,094.8

 

 

28.1

 

 

TOTAL

 

 

36,404.4

 

 

100.0

 

 

32,314.9

 

 

100.0

 

 

Source: Gartner (May 2009)

 

 

 
 
 
 
Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com
 
 
 
 
 
 

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