Smart phone market surges ahead

9 Jun 2006

The worldwide market for smart phones showed no signs of slowing down in the first quarter of 2006, says analyst IDC, with some 18.9 million devices shipped representing a 67.8pc year-on-year increase.

“In most mature markets, the first quarter of the new year is usually characterised by a sequential decrease in shipments,” said Ramon Llamas, research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Markets team. “However, as a market with more growth on the way, the converged mobile device market was able to post sequential growth as well as a sizeable year-over-year gain.

“The worldwide market has broadened in terms of the number of vendors who have entered into this space and deepened as far as the kinds of devices coming out for consumers, enterprise users and fans of multimedia. The lure of new products combined with heightened competition among the vendors should continue to drive the smart phone market to new heights.”

According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Nokia remained the world’s number one smart phone vendor with a 43.2pc market share and some 8.1 million units shipped during the quarter.

Nokia was followed by Panasonic with a 10pc global market share and 1.89 million units shipped, NEC with 9.5pc global market share and 1.79 million units shipped, Research In Motion with a 7.7pc world market share and some 1.45 million units shipped and Sharp with a 5.7pc market share and 1.07 million units shipped.

“Continuous upgrades to mobile operating systems have given device manufacturers more capable platforms upon which to create devices,” says Ryan Reith, research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Phone Tracker.

“For example, Nokia set the bar by launching two new lines of devices for the converged market — the E-Series and the N-Series — aimed at two different end-user markets. These lines have plenty of room to grow and offer devices in the high, mid and lower levels of the converged mobile device space, which should add pressure on other device manufacturers to follow suit in 2006.”

By John Kennedy