Worldwide smartphone shipments grew 30% to reach a 53 million units in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared to the same period last year, representing the strongest growth since Q3 2008, according to the new research from research firm Strategy Analytics.
Global smartphone shipments reached an all-time high of 173.8 million units in 2009, growing 15% from 151.1 million during 2008.
Tom Kang, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, said: “This was the strongest period of growth since Q3 2008 and smartphones are leading the handset industry out of recession. Sales are being driven by stronger consumer demand and a stream of attractive new 3G models tempting buyers into retail stores.”
According to the research, Nokia registering the strongest smartphone quarter since the first half of 2008, accounting for 39.2% of market share with 20.8 million smartphone shipments, representing 38% increase from 15.1 million units in the same period last year. RIM shipped 10.7 million smartphones, remaining ahead of Apple’s 8.7 million units during the quarter. It is continuing its expansions into Western Europe and parts of Asia.
For the year 2009, Nokia shipped 67.8 million smartphones with a market share of 39%, RIM shipped 34.5 million smartphones with 15.5% market share, while Apple accounted for 14.4% of the market share with 25.1 million shipments.
Neil Mawston, director of Strategy Analytics, said: “The smartphone market will become ultra competitive in 2010. Samsung and LG have ambitious plans to grow volumes and expand their app stores, while emerging players like Dell and Huawei are strengthening their device portfolios and courting major operators. The smartphone wars will be good news for consumers, but the fierce competition will inevitably place downward pressure on vendors’ pricing and margins.”