If you were beginning to get the sense that you couldn’t turn around without coming across some kind of mobile gadget, you were probably right: Gartner, Inc. has reported that sales of mobile communication devices to end users came in at 427.8 million units in the first quarter of 2011.
The sales figure is a 19 percent increase from the first quarter of 2010, further proof of the proliferation of mobile communication devices. Smartphones led the market, a trend that Gartner expects to continue as the “newly competitive mid-tier smartphone market” picks up steam and encourages mass adoption of smartphones.
“Smartphones accounted for 23.6 percent of overall sales in the first quarter of 2011, an increase of 85 percent year-on-year,” said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner. These numbers, said Cozza, could have been even higher, but a number of high-profile devices were announced in the first quarter of 2011 that aren’t due to release until the second quarter and as such, many consumers decided to wait for them and delay their purchases.
While Nokia was the frontrunner in terms of the market share in the first quarter—selling 107.6 million mobile devices—it still saw a decline of 5.5 percentage points year-on-year. Picking up 25.1 percent of the first quarter market share, this was the lowest share that the company reached since 1997.