The worldwide mobile phone market grew 14.6% in the third quarter of 2010 (3Q10), the fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, driven in part by the fast-growing converged mobile device category. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped 340.5 million units in 3Q10 compared to 297.1 million units in the third quarter of 2009.
The growing popularity of converged mobile devices, or smartphones, with consumers and businesspersons is evidenced by the appearance of a second smartphone-only vendor in the top 5 ranking. Apple moved into the number 4 position worldwide in 3Q10, joining Research In Motion (RIM) as one of the world’s largest mobile phone suppliers.
Top Five Mobile Phone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Q3 2010 (Units in Millions) 3Q10 3Q09 3Q10 Unit Market 3Q09 Unit Market Year-over-year Vendor Shipments Share Shipments Share Change 1. Nokia 110.4 32.4% 108.5 36.5% 1.8% 2. Samsung 71.4 21.0% 60.2 20.3% 18.6% 3. LG Electronics 28.4 8.3% 31.6 10.6% -10.1% 4. Apple 14.1 4.1% 7.4 2.5% 90.5% 5. R.I.M. 12.4 3.6% 8.5 2.9% 45.9% Others 103.8 30.5% 80.9 27.2% 28.3% Total 340.5 100.0% 297.1 100.0% 14.6%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, October 28, 2010
Nokia maintained the top spot in the overall mobile phone market despite year-over-year unit shipment growth of less than 2% in new chief executive Steven Elop’s first quarter at the helm. The company grew converged mobile device shipments 61% in 3Q10, but average selling prices for the device type dropped to EUR136, compared to EUR190 in the same quarter last year. Nokia attributed the plunge to price pressure from competitors and its stated desire to reach more customers. Nokia hopes the C8 and C7 devices will boost ASPs in future.
Samsung marked a new milestone during the third quarter, pushing through the 70 million unit mark for the first time in the company’s history. In addition, the company more than doubled the number of converged mobile device shipments from the previous quarter. Driving this was the worldwide release of its Galaxy S i9000 converged mobile device, as well as its bada-based Wave model. Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, Samsung appears poised to bring more smartphones to market, with a new Wave 2 awaiting launch and more mass-market devices for emerging markets.
LG Electronics missed its 3Q10 total mobile phone and smartphone shipment growth targets, resulting in an overall double-digit shipment decrease when compared to the same quarter one year ago. LG has yet to make a significant impact in the smartphone category unlike its competitors. Although operating margin returned to the same levels as a year ago, sales and profitability both fell significantly. By the end of the quarter, LG replaced its CEO Nam Yong with Koo Bon-Joon, head of LG’s trading firm, LG International.