Growth of the worldwide converged mobile device market (commonly referred to as smartphones) more than doubled that of the overall mobile phone market in the first quarter, a sign the segment is in high-growth mode again. And Apple had a banner quarter.
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 54.7 million units in the first quarter of 2010 (1Q10), up 56.7% from the same quarter a year ago. In contrast, the overall mobile phone market grew 21.7%. Converged mobile devices accounted for 18.8% of all mobile phones shipped in 1Q10, up slightly from 14.4% in 1Q09.
Apple more than doubled its shipments from a year ago, with more iPhones arriving outside its home territory of North America. CEO Steve Jobs announced the latest operating system update, enabling multi-tasking, folders, enhanced email, iBooks for consumers, and iAd, a mobile advertising platform, for developers. A fourth generation iPhone is expected to arrive this summer.
“2010 looks to be another year of large-scale consumer adoption of converged mobile devices,” says Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team (http://www.idc.com). “Consumers will gravitate to smartphones not just because the devices themselves look ‘cool’ and ‘slick’, but because the overall experience aligns with their individual tastes and demands. Users are seeking – and finding – experiences that are intuitive, seamless, and fun. Already, we’ve seen what Palm’s webOS and Google’s Android can do. This year, we expect updates for BlackBerry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile to spark greater smartphone demand with their offerings.”
Kevin Restivo, senior analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, said higher smartphone sales this year will be a result of greater awareness, increasingly affordable data plans, and the global economic recovery.
“More consumers are aware of smartphones now due to positive referrals from friends and family and manufacturer’s mass media campaigns,” said. Restivo. “Coupled with increased confidence on the part of consumers, these factors will create a perfect storm of demand for suppliers this year.”