iPhone sales help Apple leapfrog ZTE

Despite it selling record numbers of its iPhones, Apple remained the fourth largest mobile brand in terms of volume sales.

Stats from IDC show that the 19.8 percent year on year shipment mobile increase in the first quarter of 2011 was driven by increasing demand for smartphones such as the Apple device, with 371.8 million units compared to 310.5 million this time last year.

This meant good news for smartphone specific vendors such as HTC which benefitted from the increase in sales.

While feature phones still represented the majority of the market with, for example, quick messaging capabilities such as BlackBerry’s QWERTY keyboards, it seems that smartphones are increasingly gaining in popularity over such handsets.

However IDC analysts do not expect that feature phones are likely to disappear anytime soon with firms outside the top five vendors such as RIM outpacing the overall market.

In the future though it seems that smartphones are likely to account for increasingly more growth in the market up until 2015, meaning that feature phone makers will either need to become smartphone dependent or consolidate that part of the market”.

Nokia kept its top spot with 108.5 million shipments meaning a market share of 29.2 percent, despite its high profile troubles with its Symbian operating systems, ramping up shipments of its C3 X201 from last year.

With the increasing importance of the smartphone market the pressure is definitely now on for Nokia to come up with the goods following its decision to go with the Windows Phone OS for its future high end handsets.

Samsung Posted record first quarter volume results with 70 million units, closing the gap on Nokia and extending its lead over LG, with smartphones becoming an increasing prominent fixture in its mobile range, aiming to reach 50 million of the devices this year.

LG meanwhile showed a decline for the third straight year with a 6.6 percent share compared to 8.7 last year.

Fourth placed Apple’s impressive results were helped by strong sales in developed nations such as in North America and Western Europe, giving it a 114.9 percent year on year improvement, significantly better than other top five vendors.

ZTE on the other hand saw good growth in China and Latin American countries, flogging low cost feature phones.

And more generally emerging markets were able to benefit in the increasing affordability of smartphones as parts of Asia/Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Latin America helped the market to a new first quarter record.

Japan meanwhile underperformed compared to IDC’s forecast due to the effects of the earthwuake and tsunami, with the country’s largest mobile operators ordering fewer handsets than expected following the disaster.

The gap between feature and smartphones narrowed in Latin America as customers increased use of 3G models.

 

 

Top Five Mobile Phone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Q1 2011 (Units in Millions)

 
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
 

Vendor

       

Q1 2011

Shipment

Volumes

   

Q1 2011

Market

Share

   

Q1 2010

Shipment

Volumes

   

Q1 2010

Market

Share

   

Year-over-

year

Change

 
 

Nokia

       

108.5

   

29.2%

   

107.8

   

34.7%

   

0.6%

 
 

Samsung

       

70.0

   

18.8%

   

64.3

   

20.7%

   

8.9%

 
 

LG Electronics

       

24.5

   

6.6%

   

27.1

   

8.7%

   

-9.6%

 
 

Apple

       

18.7

   

5.0%

   

8.7

   

2.8%

   

114.9%

 
 

ZTE

       

15.1

   

4.1%

   

10.4

   

3.3%

   

45.2%

 
 

Others

       

135

   

36.3%

   

92.2

   

29.7%

   

46.4%

 
 

Total

       

371.8

   

100.0%

   

310.5

   

100.0%

   

19.8%