Sales of smartphones will exceed 420 million devices in 2011, accounting for nearly 28 percent of the entire global handset market, according to IMS Research. With the introduction of more affordable “entry-level” smartphones, IMS Research predicts that annual sales will surpass one billion devices by the end of 2016, accounting for one of every two mobile handsets sold.
Nokia saw its portion of smartphone market decline so dramatically that in early 2011 the company dropped the Symbian platform in favor of Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS. In 2Q 2011, Nokia reported smartphone sales fell to 16.7 million, down 34 percent from the same period in 2010.
In recent years, no company has flourished in this environment as much as Apple. Apple’s 2Q 2011 results in which it reported record sales of more than 20 million iPhones indicates it can be expected to remain an influential presence in the market despite the increased competition.
[advt]Of the traditional handset manufacturers, Samsung has demonstrated the best results in recent years. Capitalizing on its diverse portfolio – which includes devices using the company’s own bada operating system along with Android and Windows Mobile – as well as its highly popular Galaxy series, Samsung smartphone market share increased from about three percent in 1Q 2010 to over 13 percent in 1Q 2011. At the same time smaller, dedicated smartphone vendors such as HTC have seen their position rise dramatically.
Josh Builta, analyst in IMS’ Mobile Technologies Group said:
“Clearly one of the key dynamics of the mobile handset competitive environment in recent years has been the inability of many traditional market leaders to recognize and adjust to the growing smartphone tier. The reasons for these failures vary and include everything from poorly designed and manufactured devices, unsatisfactory user interfaces, and portfolios that don’t offer products with a differentiating feature. These lapses have created opportunities for newer entrants to the market, which they have aggressively pursued.”