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Apple, RIM climb mobile rankings as smartphones push sales

Mail Today Bureau     February 10, 2011
Strong smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2010 pushed Apple and Research In Motion (RIM) upmobile in the 2010 worldwide ranking of device manufacturers to the No.5 and No.4 positions, respectively, displacing Sony Ericsson and Motorola, according to the latest Gartner report released on Wednesday.

"Nokia and LG also saw their market share erode in 2010 as they came under increasing pressure to refine their smartphone strategies," said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.

Worldwide mobile device sales to end users totalled 1.6 billion units in 2010, a 31.8 per cent increase from 2009. Smartphone sales to end users surged 72.1 per cent from 2009 and accounted for 19 per cent of total mobile communications device sales in 2010, the report states.

Overall, the mobile device market showed less seasonality than in previous years in markets, such as Western Europe and North America.

Smartphones push global mobile sales
However, shortages continued to affect components, such as camera modules, touchscreen controllers and active- matrix organic lightemitting diode (AMOLED) screens, in Q4 of 2010.

"This situation will not ease until at least the second half of 2011. Shortages will be a long- term consideration for mobile device vendors, because other fastgrowing categories of connected consumer devices, such as media tablets, are competing for the same components," said Milanesi.

In 2010, Nokia's annual mobile phone sales to end users reached 461.3 million units, a 7.5 per cent drop in market share from 2009.

Nokia's share of the smartphone market dropped 6.7 percentage points from 2009. Nokia's future rests on the announcements it will make on February 11 and how well the company can execute on those plans in the limited time available.

RIM's overall mobile phone sales to end users in 2010 reached a total of 47.5 million units, an increase of 38.2 per cent year-on-year.

Despite growing volume sales, RIM was unable to keep up with market growth and saw its market share dip from 19.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 13.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Apple sold 46.6 million units in 2010, an 87.2 per cent growth from 2009 largely due to expansion into new countries and the ending of exclusivity deals, which made the iPhone available through 185 communication service providers (CSPs) globally.

Gartner analysts said Apple will maintain a stable average selling price, which favourably impacts margins at the expense of market share opportunity.

 MOBILE PCs A BIG HIT IN INDIA

Sales of the combined desk-based and mobile PC market in India touched the 2.7 million units mark in the fourth quarter of 2010, a 16.2 per cent increase over the fourth quarter of 2009, according to Gartner.

The growth rate was more than five times the worldwide PC market's growth average in the fourth quarter of 2010.

"This growth was primarily driven by the mobile PC market, which grew 39 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010," said Vishal Tripathi, principal research analyst at Gartner. A fall in prices, large deals from governments and demand from consumers and the education sector drove mobile PCs sales. Many small- and midsize businesses are buying mobile PCs, which is further fuelling growth, the report states.

All major PC vendors experienced high double-digit growth in mobile PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Courtesy: Mail Today

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