Smartphone shipments rocket 87 per cent


Mobile manufacturers were celebrating the end of 2010 as they achieved record numbers of smartphone shipments, according to IDC.

The analyst's report claimed 100.9 million smartphones were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010, which equated to a rise of 87.2 per cent year on year.

IDC also claimed overall smartphone shipments for the whole 12 months hit an astounding 302.6 million, translating to a 74.4 per cent rise when compared to 2009.

Google felt a lot of the benefits, claimed Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's mobile phone technology and trends team, whilst Symbian suffered.

"Android continues to gain by leaps and bounds, helping to drive the smartphone market," he said. "It has become the cornerstone of multiple vendors' smartphone strategies, and has quickly become a challenger to market leader Symbian."

"Although Symbian has the backing of market leader Nokia, Android has multiple vendors, including HTC, LG Electronics, Motorola, Samsung and a growing list of companies deploying Android on their devices."

However, all was not lost for Symbian as the launch of Symbian^3 helped Nokia shift five million handsets.

The introduction of Windows Phone 7 from Microsoft also helped the overall smartphone market, with over 1.5 million handsets shipped in the quarter.

"Now, with the holiday quarter over, both platforms will need to sustain this initial growth in the quarters to come," added Llamas.

But IDC doesn't seem to concerned about the upcoming months and expected 2011 to be even more successful, despite a change in handset tactics.

Llamas concluded: "The high-end of the market has been important to help grow the smartphone market in recent years. IDC expects vendors to provide more mid-range and low-end smartphones at lower prices to reach the mass market."

"In the same manner, even high-end devices will become available at lower prices. This will result in greater competition and more selection for users."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.