Mobile phone sales explode: Five findings

Worldwide mobile phone sales increased 35 per cent in Q3 2010, with a 96 per cent increase in smartphone sales.

The smartphone boom is in full swing, with twice as many sales last quarter as in the same period last year, according to new research from Gartner.

IT research firm Gartner says worldwide mobile phone sales grew by 35 per cent overall in the third quarter of 2010 (as compared to the third quarter of 2009), mainly fueled by white-box (hardware-only) phone sales in emerging markets such as India, Russia, and Africa, as well as a 96 per cent increase in smartphone sales. It's a gold rush right now, with plenty of winners and losers -- let's take a look at five of the big takeaways from Gartner's research:

It's a good time to be a Droid

Anyone who's been following the smartphone market knows Android has been growing like crazy. The rate at which Android has gobbled up market share, however, surprises even Gartner -- just a year ago, the firm predicted that Android would be the second-most popular smartphone OS in 2012, and account for 18 per cent of all global sales. Android surpassed expectations, though -- in the third quarter of 2010, 25.5 per cent of all smartphones sold were Droids.

Market share isn't everything

Larger market share generally means more brand recognition and popularity -- but it can be a misleading measure of how certain phones are doing. While Apple lost 0.4 per cent of the market over the last year, it sold twice as many phones. Research in Motion (RIM) lost 5.9 per cent of the market, but continues to gain subscribers and revenue. Symbian, on the other hand, saw the second-largest sales increase of any smartphone OS -- more than 11 million units sold -- but still lost 8 percent o the total market share.

Windows Mobile 6.5 was not terribly popular

While smartphone sales increased for Symbian, Android, Blackberry, and the iPhone, Windows phones took a dive in both unit sales and market share. That's probably because, up until this week, Microsoft was hawking Windows Mobile 6.5 -- we expect next year's number to look a little different, now that Microsoft has entered Windows Phone 7 into the competition.

What happened to WebOS?

You know the outlook is bleak for HP and Palm's WebOS when it doesn't even have its own category in Gartner's press release. This means it's either part of the "Linux" category (with 2.1 percent market share), or the "Other" category (with 1.5 percent of the market share). HP had better have more ambitious plans than the Palm Pre 2 if it hopes to resurrect WebOS as a viable smartphone OS competitor.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileGartnertelecommunication

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?