Mobile market continues to boom

Mobile market

The worldwide mobile phone market grew 17.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to IDC.

The growth marks a new quarterly high, principally attributed to a stronger economy and the wider selection of affordable smartphones.

Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's worldwide mobile phone tracker, claimed growth and replacement cycles were being pushed by users willingness to "swap out older devices for ones that handle data as well as voice."

"The mobile phone market has the wind behind its sails," he said.

Restivo predicted the smartphones' sub-market would continue to grow largely through to the end of 2014. For 2011, he forecasted a 43.7 per cent growth.

Although it was mainly smartphones that helped lift the market after a weak 2009, IDC said they were not the only devices to show good results.

ZTE, a Chinese company that sells majorly low-cost feature handsets in emerging markets moved into fourth position worldwide in the fourth quarter to become the first Chinese manufacturer to break into the top five vendors ever. Nokia, Samsung, LG, and Apple, remained as ZTE's company.

IDC's regional analysis in Western Europe showed strong smartphone sales were driven by carrier smartphone promotions, which convinced users to scrap their feature phones.

Among the most successful devices in Western Europe, IDC highlighted the iPhone 4, HTC Desire, Nokia N8, Samsung Galaxy S and Blackberry 8520.