The latest smartphone figures from analyst firm IDC show growth of 39 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared with the same period in 2008, offering further evidence that the market is pulling clear of the recession.
The firm's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker showed that four of the top five smartphone vendors all recorded increases in Q4 sales, leading to total shipments of 54.5 million units, up from 39.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Shipments for the year rose to 174.2 million, up 15.1 per cent on the 151.4 million in 2008, and converged devices accounted for 15.4 per cent of shipments in the year, up from 12.7 per cent in 2008.
Apple enjoyed the biggest success in the quarter, recording year-over-year growth of a whopping 97.7 per cent. The company shipped 8.7 million units, up from 4.4 million a year ago. Motorola also had a strong year, seeing a 56.3 per cent increase in Q4 sales to end its year-long absence from the top five.
Nokia maintained its position as market leader, and saw a rise in shipments to 20.8 million, but lost overall quarterly sales share, falling from 38.5 to 38.2 per cent. HTC also lost market share, falling 1.2 per cent to cede fourth place to Motorola.
Over the year Nokia also lost a fraction of its total market share, from 40 per cent to 38.9, but saw an 11.9 per cent increase in shipments to 67.7 million. Apple rose a colossal 81.9 per cent, from 13.8 million to 25.1 million units.
Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's mobile devices technology and trends team, said that a combination of perfect market conditions and growing user demand for smartphones had helped drive sales.
"Increasingly, mobile users are seeking greater utility from devices, and carriers took advantage of lower prices on many older devices to help address th is demand, ordering additional units and, in turn, offering reduced prices to end users," he said.
The figures closely matched those released on Monday by Strategy Analytics which placed the companies in the same order of sales and size.
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