Nokia, Samsung and LG top global mobile sales

24 Feb 2010

While Nokia led the pack in terms of global mobile handset sales throughout 2009, analyst Gartner found that its sales of 441 million units was a 2.2pc drop in market share from 2008, leaving it with a 36.4pc market share.

“Nokia will face a tough first half of 2010 as improvement to Symbian and new products based on the Meego platform will not reach the market well before the second half of 2010,” said Carolina Milanesi, research director at Gartner.

“Its very strong mid-tier portfolio will help it hold market share, but its ongoing weakness at the high end of the portfolio will hurt its share of market value.”

Samsung market share jumps by 3.2pc

Meanwhile, Samsung comes second on the list, taking a 19.5pc market share representing a 3.2pc growth year-on-year while LG has 10.1pc of the global mobile handset market, representing almost 1.7pc growth.

Overall, the mobile market grew 8.4pc from the fourth quarter of 2008 to the same quarter of 2009 as 340 million handsets were bought.

“The mobile devices market finished on a very positive note, driven by growth in smart phones and low-end devices,” said Milanesi.

The smart phone market continues to grow

”Smart-phone sales to end users continued their strong growth in the fourth quarter of 2009, totalling 53.8 million units, up 41.1pc from the same period in 2008. In 2009, smart-phone sales reached 172.4 million units, a 23.8pc increase from 2008.”

Milanesi pointed to the evolving smart-phone market, adding that manufacturers like Apple and BlackBerry’s RIM grew to take a vast chunk of this sector: Apple now has 14.4pc while RIM takes 19.9pc globally.

Motorola has dropped from third to fourth place in terms of global market share due to two factors, as LG grew its share Motorola in fact dropped from 8.7pc to 4.5pc, however, the release of its Android-based Droid smart phone may yet change this market share by Q1 of 2010.

“Its refocus away from the low-end market limited the volume opportunity, but should help it drive margins going forward,” said Milanesi.

“Motorola’s hardest barrier is to grow brand awareness outside the North American market, where it benefits from a long-lasting relationship with key communications service providers (CSPs).”

Smart-phone market by operating systems

Despite Nokia’s overall drop in market share, its open-source Symbian operating system still dominates, taking the majority with 46.9pc and coming in second was RIM with 19.9pc, a 3.3pc growth on 2008.

Apple’s iPhone, unsurprisingly, has experienced the most rapid growth year-on-year, reaching 14.4pc market share in comparison to its 8.2pc stake in 2008, although Android as a newcomer, is catching up fast, jumping from 0.5pc to 3.9pc.

“Android’s success experienced in the fourth quarter of 2009 should continue into 2010 as more manufacturers launch Android products, but some CSPs and manufacturers have expressed growing concern about Google’s intentions in the mobile market,” said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner.

“If such concerns cause manufacturers to change their product strategies or CSPs to change which devices they stock, this might hinder Android’s growth in 2010.”

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile dropped market share from11.8pc to 8.7pc although this is certain to change following its recent announcement of the brand new Windows Phone Series 7 operating system at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, recently.

Palm’s OS, only introduced last year with the Pre, popped into existence to gain 0.7pc of the smart-phone market globally.

By Marie Boran

Photo: Nokia’s N900. Nokia took the lead regarding global mobile handset sales throughout 2009, analyst Gartner has reported