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November 12, 2009

Smartphone sales up 12.8% in third quarter, says Gartner

Apple accounts 17.1% of smartphone market

By CBR Staff Writer

Worldwide mobile phone sales increased by 0.1% to 308.9m units in the third quarter of 2009, compared to the same period last year, while smartphone sales increased by 12.8% to 41m units, according to a study from Gartner.

Carolina Milanesi, research director at Gartner, said: ”As many vendors and industry watchers call for a decrease in sales into the channel, our sell through data is showing that 2009 performance will be flat rather than down over 2008.”

Gartner said that, grey-market sales are no longer limited to china and all manufacturers have to compete with grey-market players as they expand into emerging markets in Asia/Pacific, Eastern Europe, The Middle East and Latin America. It said that the individual open platforms will fragment as manufacturers strive to compete.

Accoring to the report, Nokia’s share of the worldwide smartphone market reached an all time low in the third quarter of 2009 at 39%, compared to 45% in the second quarter of 2009. It shipped around 16.6m units, compared to 15.47m units in the same period last year. Research In Motion shipped 8.4m units and accounted for 20% of the market share. Its sales volumes rested on the Curve 8900 in Europe and the Tour and Storm 2 with Verizon Wireless in the US.

Apple’s worldwide smartphone share reached 17% with 7.04m units. iPhone sales totalled 7m units in the third quarter of 2009 following the continued rollout of the iPhone 3GS in new countries. Gartner also estimates Apple sales in the fourth quarter to be even stronger. In the smartphone operating system (OS) market, Android picked up momentum with a share of 3.5%.

Ms Milanesi added: “Smartphones continued to represent the fastest-growing segment of the mobile-devices market and we remain confident about the potential for smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2009 and in 2010.

“Mobile phone vendors must invest in their smartphone portfolios to benefit from the fastest-growing segment of the market and that which is most resistant to low ASPs. They should also focus on winning developers and carrier support which will both attract users.”

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