Telecom Lead Team: The global mobile phone market grew
6.1 percent year over year in the fourth quarter of 2011, as the feature phone
market declined faster than anticipated, which lowered the market growth its
lowest point in over two years, according to the IDC.
IDC revealed that vendors shipped
427.4 million units in Q4 2011 compared to 402.8 million units in the fourth
quarter of 2010.
“The introduction of
high-growth products such as the iPhone 4S, which shipped in the fourth
quarter, bolstered smartphone growth. Yet overall market growth fell to its
lowest point since 3Q09 when the global economic recession was in full
bloom,” said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s
Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker.
In Asia/Pacific (excluding
Japan), the feature phone market declined in conjunction with the region’s
largest feature phone markets – China, India, and Indonesia, said IDC.
However, IDC denoted that
smartphones maintained their growth momentum as the iPhone 4S was well received
in Australia, Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan. Also, Windows Phone gained some
momentum with the growing sales the HTC Titan, Radar and Nokia Lumia.
In China, competition in the Android
market intensified as mid-range vendors, such as Lenovo, Coolpad, and Huawei,
shipped large numbers. However, the worldwide Android market was dominated by
Samsung, followed by HTC and LG.
IDC also revealed that
the Western European mobile phone market was impacted by lower
demand. Nokia experienced another difficult quarter as a result of its
transition towards Windows Phones. Feature phone shipments were near historic
lows, supported primarily by very low-end devices. Overall, the Central
Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMA) markets showed strong double-digit
growth due in large part to Samsung’s continued strength in the regions.
In North America, smartphones
held the spotlight with the launch of the Apple iPhone 4S, while LTE
smartphones from HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung also made important gains.
Research In Motion launched several new phones running on BB OS 7 during the
IDC revealed that low-cost
feature phones ruled the Latin American market, with strong participation from
Nokia, Samsung, and multiple Chinese vendors. Also, the market share of
Smartphones improved with the launch of multiple models across the region,
particularly sub-$200 Android models.