Worldwide mobile device sales to end users totaled 1.6 billion units in 2010, a 31.8% increase from 2009, according to the Gartner research group (http://www.gartner.com). Apple sold 46.6 million units in 2010, 87.2% growth from 2009.
This growth is largely due to expansion into new countries and the ending of exclusivity deals, which has made the iPhone available through 185 communication service providers (CSPs) around the world. The end of exclusivity deals also encouraged CSP competition on tariffs and data plans, making the total cost of iPhone ownership more in line with other high-end smartphones, says Gartner.
For 2011, Apple’s main growth opportunity will come from adding Verizon Wireless to its list of CSPs in the U.S. Gartner analysts said. Apple will maintain a stable average selling price, which favorably impacts margins at the expense of market share opportunity.
Smartphone sales to end users were up 72.1% from 2009 and accounted for 19%of total mobile communications device sales in 2010.
“Strong smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2010 pushed Apple and Research In Motion (RIM) up in our 2010 worldwide ranking of mobile device manufacturers to the No. 5 and No. 4 positions, respectively, displacing Sony Ericsson and Motorola,” sys Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner. “Nokia and LG saw their market share erode in 2010 as they came under increasing pressure to refine their smartphone strategies.”
In 2010, Nokia’s annual mobile phone sales to end users reached 461.3 million units, a 7.5 % drop in market share from 2009. Nokia’s share of the smartphone market dropped 6.7 percentage points from 2009.
RIM’s overall mobile phone sales to end users in 2010 reached a total of 47.5 million units, an increase of 38.2% year-on-year. Despite growing volume sales, RIM was unable to keep up with market growth and saw its market share decline from 19.5% in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 13.7% in the fourth quarter of 2010.