The worldwide mobile phone market grew 19.8 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2011 (1Q11) fueled by high smartphone growth, especially in emerging markets, and gains made by market challengers, according to IDC.
According to IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker vendors shipped 371.8 million units in 1Q11 compared to 310.5 million units in the first quarter of 2010.
Smartphone growth worldwide, particularly in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Middle East and Africa (MEA), and Latin America, helped lift the overall market to a new first-quarter high.
Increasingly, mobile phone makers and carriers are making smartphones affordable to a wider variety of people, which has helped drive the market to new heights. Smartphone-specific vendors, such as HTC, continue to grow sales at a steady clip as a result of this trend.
Several notable vendors, including feature phone makers, outpaced the overall market, which contributed to share losses of some top suppliers”, said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker.
The growth of companies outside the top 5 vendors vendors in the ‘Others’ category, such as Micromax, TCL-Alcatel, Huawei, and Research In Motion shows that the overall market is still very much ripe for share gains”, Restivo added.
Increasingly smartphones will drive market growth. This means feature phone makers will either need to become smartphone dependent or consolidate that part of the market”, noted Restivo.
The Asia/Pacific market grew thanks in part to strong mobile phone shipments to Greater China despite the seasonally slow quarter. Smartphone shipment growth was exceptional despite some key product launch delays. In Japan, the market underperformed IDC’s forecast due to the impact of the earthquake and tsunami. Japan’s largest mobile operators ordered fewer phones than expected in March.
The Latin America market growth continued last quarter as the gap between smartphones and feature phones narrowed. Smartphone shipments were aided by carriers, who are moving customers to 3G networks while vendors shipped more touchscreen and QWERTY models. New Android and Windows Phone devices were launched too, which helped drive smartphone growth. The average selling prices also declined in the region, thanks to aggressive expansion by Chinese vendors.
By TelecomLead.com Team