Smart phone sales will surpass the 420 million mark in 2011, equivalent to almost 28% of the total global mobile handset market, according to IMS Research. The analysts also predict that annual sales of smart phones will account for 1bn devices or 50% of all mobile handsets sold by the end of 2016 as more affordable smart phones are launched.
However, not all manufacturers will benefit from the continuing surge. Josh Builta, an analyst in IMS’ Mobile Technologies Group, says: “Despite the higher margins for smartphones, and the seemingly insatiable consumer appetite for converged devices, it is clear that not all OEMS are equally positioned to capitalize on this market trend. For instance, LG, despite being the third largest OEM in the world, has offered a fairly limited smartphone portfolio in recent years, a factor that resulted in the company reaching less than a 3% share of the total smartphone market in 2010.”
Built also refers to Nokia’s smartphone problems, which saw them opt for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 OS in place of the Symbian platform. In Q2 2011, Nokia reported smartphone sales fell to 16.7m, down 34% from the same period in 2010.
IMS points out that in recent years, whilst Apple have led the pack, other manufacturers have also done well. Samsung has increased its market share from around 3% in Q1, 2010 to over 13% in Q2, 2011. At the same time smaller smartphone vendors, notably HTC, have also seen their share rise dramatically.