Global Handset Shipments Up Almost 20% in Q1, Smartphone Shipments Up 50%

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The global handset market has flourished in the first quarter of 2010, with more than 303 million handsets shipping. According to ABI Research, sales are up 19% Year-on-Year (YoY), and should continue to grow.

In the smartphone segment, shipments were up 50% YoY to 54 million units, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics.

For 2010, shipments of handsets are projected to top 1.3 billion, partially from the shift in demand from 2G devices to 3G models. Shipments in Africa and the Middle East grew 20% YoY, and the United States grew 11%, Europe lagged with single digit growth.

Nokia and LG Look to Gain Marketshare
Nokia’s handset market share currently stands at a significant 34%, but is falling. ABI said the company is hoping to expand their mid and low tier segments in order to help regain lost momentum in the industry.

Even though the Nokia’s share is dropping, its smartphone sales are increasing. Strategy Analytics reports that Nokia shipped 21.5 million smartphones last quarter, a new record for the company.

LG’s market share, which currently stands at 8.9%, is suffering from what ABI describes as a weak smartphone portfolio in North America. While it has traditionally done well in the enhanced phone sector, it is now making changes to some of its smartphones in order to stir interest. This course of action seems to be working, as shipments have grown more than 20% in the first quarter.

Other Major OEMs
Sony Ericsson and BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion were tied last quarter with 3.5% of the world market for handsets.

RIM shipped 10.6 million BlackBerrys last quarter, according to Strategy Analytics, while Apple shipped 8.8 million iPhones.

Apple’s first fiscal quarter of 2010 yielded significant gains and is up 130% YoY. It currently accounts for 2.9%, of phones shipped worldwide. ABI expects interest to grow with the release of the Apple iPhone 4G, but suggests Apple should diversify its handset offerings.

With the launch of the Droid, Motorola has experienced success with a 2.8% market share. As for the future, ABI said the Motorola emphasis on social networking is an attempt to court younger consumers who will ultimately become brand loyal consumers.

Source: ABI Research, Strategy Analytics

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