Apple, HTC, Samsung Lead the Charge of Q1 Smartphone Market Growth

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The smartphone market has been growing unabatedly, and this trend has strongly continued during the first quarter of 2011 with analysts from IDC calculating nearly 80% year-over-year growth in the industry.

Ramon Llamas, Senior Research Analyst with IDC, says that “Conditions in the smartphone market are creating a perfect storm for sustained smartphone growth.” This statement certainly holds up when considering IDC’s most recent evaluation of the first three months of this year.

All of the major players have increased shipments when compared to the same period during 2010, as total overall shipments jumped from 55.4 million in Q1 2010 to 99.6 million in Q1 2011. While all the top smartphone makers are having success, some manufacturers have had considerably more than others, with Apple, HTC, and Samsung posting huge gains and subsequently chipping away at the market share of the old guard.

Year-Over-Year Growth Statistics
Samsung posted the greatest ratio of increase, jumping from 2.4 million shipments in Q1 2010 to 10.8 million in Q1 2011, for a whopping 350% rate of growth. Much of this is due to the success of the Android-based Galaxy S series, sold in the U.S. as the Samsung Fascinate, Captivate, Vibrant, and Epic 4G. 

HTC and Apple both also experienced significant gains, with the iPhone maker going from 8.7 million shipments to 18.7 million shipments for 114% year-over-year growth. Apple is now outselling BlackBerry-maker RIM by a wide margin. At the same time, HTC shot up from 2.7 million to 8.9 million for 230% growth.

RIM and Nokia had much more modest gains. RIM managed an increase from 10.6 million to 13.9 million for 31% growth, and world-leading smartphone manufacturer Nokia went from 21.5 million to 24.2 million for the smallest growth of any major company with 13%. Nokia has been struggling in recent years, and announced last quarter that it’s switching from using Symbian to Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system.

A New-Look Market
Apple’s huge increases combined with RIM’s tepid performance have moved the iPhone makers solidly into second place. Apple’s market share increased from 16% in Q1 2010 to 19% in Q1 2011, while RIM’s dropped from 19% to 14%.
Nokia maintained its position as king of the hill, but no longer has a dominant supremacy, dropping from a 39% market share in Q1 2010 to 24% in Q1 2011.

HTC and Samsung are the beneficiaries of RIM and Nokia’s losses, as HTC nearly doubled its market share from 4.9% to 8.9%, and Samsung more than doubled its, going from 4.3% to 10.8%, trailing RIM for third place by just 2.1 million shipments.

To see the complete figures from the IDC, check out the chart below. 

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