Home Industry Deals Smartphone sales soar as Android flexes muscles in 2Q11

Smartphone sales soar as Android flexes muscles in 2Q11

Sales of smartphone devices soared in the second quarter of 2011, with Android and iOS fueling spectacular 74% year on year growth and sales exceeding more than 100 million units for the quarter, according to new figures. The smartphone boom happened amidst robust worldwide sales of mobile devices of 428.7 million units in 2Q11, up 16.5% on 2Q10.

 

According to figures from Gartner, sales of smartphones accounted for 25% of overall sales in the second quarter of 2011, up from 17% in the second quarter of 2010.

As far as smartphone operating systems were concerned, the big winners were Android and Apple's iOS, while the losers were the once dominant Symbian and RIM.

Whereas one year ago Symbian easily outstripped Android and iOS combined with 41% of the market compared to a combined 31% for the other two, this year Android (43.4%) and iOS (18.2%) dominated with a combined 61.6% share of the smartphone market compared to Symbian's 22.1%.

Meanwhile RIM and the once dominant Blackberry OS continued its precipitous decline from 18.7% to 11.2%

While iOS grew solidly from 14.1% to 18.2% share, the really big mover was Android which absolutely exploded from 17.2% to 43.4% market share, more than quadrupling the number of Android units sold.

Microsoft at this stage is a virtual non-entity in the smartphone market, with its marketshare dropping from an already low 4.9% to a minuscule 1.6%, something which the Nokia Microsoft and Nokia alliance hopes to turn around with the release of Windows Mobile 7.5 AKA Mango.

'Smartphone sales continued to rise at the expense of feature phones,' said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner. 'Consumers in mature markets are choosing entry-level and midrange Android smartphones over feature phones, partly due to carriers' and manufacturers' promotions."

Samsung achieved strong growth in sales of mobile devices. For example, the Galaxy S II sold well, and this model went on to chalk up 5 million sales by the end of July. A strong performance in the smartphone market helped Samsung increase its market share, to become the third-largest smartphone vendor. However, its overall share dropped year-on-year, and grew only marginally quarter-on-quarter, mainly due to Samsung's weaker presence in more price-sensitive market segments.

Apple continued to exceed expectations, even though the iPhone 4 will soon be replaced by a new model. Part of its growth came from the 42 new carriers and 15 new countries that it entered in the second quarter of 2011, which brought its total coverage to 100 countries. This expansion caused its inventory to grow a little by the end of the second quarter of 2011, when sales to end users stood at 19.6 million units. In mainland China, Apple is the seventh-largest mobile phone vendor and the third-largest smartphone vendor.

'We expect manufacturers and distributors to remain cautious about raising their stock levels in the second half of 2011, following the recent uncertainty on the world financial markets,' said Annette Zimmermann, principal research analyst at Gartner. Gartner expects sales of mobile devices to grow around 12 percent in 2011.

Table 2

Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 2Q11 (Thousands of Units)

Operating System

2Q11

 Units

2Q11 Market Share (%)

2Q10

 Units

2Q10 Market Share (%)

Android

46,775.9

43.4

10,652.7

17.2

Symbian

23,853.2

22.1

25,386.8

40.9

iOS

19,628.8

18.2

8,743.0

14.1

Research In Motion

12,652.3

11.7

11,628.8

18.7

Bada

2,055.8

1.9

577.0

0.9

Microsoft

1,723.8

1.6

3,058.8

4.9

Others

1,050.6

1.0

2,010.9

3.2

Total

107,740.4

100.0

62,058.1

100.0

Source: Gartner (August 2011)

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Stan Beer

 

Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.