Mobile device sales boomed in 2010

Global sales of mobile devices in 2010, particularly smartphones, were up considerably in 2010 according to the latest report by market research firm Gartner.

Mobile device sales were at 1.6 billion units last year, up 31.8 percent on 2009, while smartphone sales were up a massive 72.1 percent on the year prior, making up 19 percent of total mobile device sales.

The fourth quarter of 2010 saw a particularly large rise of 32.7 percent in mobile phone sales, totalling 452 million units.

Despite the high sales, a shortage of components, such as camera modules, touchscreen controllers and AMOLED panels, affected output in the final quarter of 2010 and is expected to impact on production for the first half of 2011.

Gartner also found that more people are buying legitimate models rather than using the black market. White box sales were at 115 million units for the fourth quarter and 360 million for the entire year.

Nokia still rules the mobile device market, with a market share of 28.9 percent, but this is a drop from its previous share of 36.4 percent in 2009. Samsung and LG, with the second and third highest market shares, also dropped from 19.5 percent to 17.6 percent and 10.1 percent to 7.1 percent respectively. 

RIM increased its share slightly from 2.8 percent to three percent, while Apple jumped from 2.1 percent to 2.9 percent. Motorola dropped from 4.8 percent to 2.4 percent, while Sony Ericsson also dropped from 4.5 percent to 2.9 percent. A main Android supporter, HTC, increased its share from 0.9 percent to 1.5 percent.

The Symbian OS still accounts for the largest share of devices at 37.6 percent, but this is down from 46.9 percent on 2009. Android is in second place at 22.7 percent, a sharp increase from only 3.9 percent the year previous. RIM’s BlackBerry OS was down from 19.9 percent to 16 percent, while Apple’s iOS saw slight growth from 14.4 percent to 15.7 percent. Despite launching Windows Phone 7, Microsoft saw a drop in market share from 8.7 percent to 4.2 percent.