Smartphone sales jump, Android and Apple pick up speed

stack of smartphones

Apple, RIM and Android have all won bigger slices of the smartphone pie - which itself has continued to see huge growth.

This is according to analyst firm Gartner, which showed the mobile market was up 17 per cent in the first quarter of this year, from the same quarter in 2009. Smartphones in particular jumped 48.7 per cent.

"In the first quarter of 2010, smartphone sales to end users saw their strongest year-on-year increase since 2006," said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, in a statement.

Smartphone OS

By operating system, Nokia's Symbian still sits on top of the ranking, with 44.3 per cent of the market share, down from 48.8 per cent. RIM held onto the number two spot, sliding just slightly to 19.4 per cent.

Apple and Google were the big winners, posting growth in market share and actual units shipped. The iPhone OS jumped from 10.5 per cent of the market share to 15.4 per cent, while Android leaped from 1.6 per cent to 9.6 in just one year.

Microsoft's Windows Mobile and Linux both struggled over the year, losing market share and shipping significantly fewer handsets. Windows Mobile, which is set for an update to Windows Phone 7, slipped from 10.2 per cent to 6.8 per cent while Linux slid from 7.0 per cent to 3.7 per cent.

"This quarter saw RIM, a pure smartphone player, make its debut in the top five mobile devices manufacturers, and saw Apple increase its market share by 1.2 percentage points," said Milanesi.

"Android's momentum continued into the first quarter of 2010, particularly in North America, where sales of Android-based phones increased 707 per cent year-on-year."


Across all handsets, the top three manufacturers all saw their market share slide, but only by a bit and not enough to shake up the rankings. Nokia continued to hold top spot with 35 per cent market share, followed by Samsung at 20.6 per cent and LG at 8.6 per cent.

Again, RIM gained share to 3.4 per cent, gaining fourth spot from Sony Ericsson and Motorola, both of which slid a few percentage points to about three per cent.

Apple won seventh place with a jump to 2.7 per cent, which Gartner said was its strongest quarter yet.

Nokia's woes

While Nokia still firmly holds top position in both rankings, it lacks a winning high-end smartphone option, Milanesi said, with handsets running it's new MeeGo OS not due anytime soon.

"MeeGo based devices and other high-end products will not rejuvenate Nokia's premium portfolio until the end of the third quarter of 2010 at the earliest, and Nokia will continue to feel pressure on its average selling price from vendors such as HTC, RIM and Samsung," said Milanesi.