by Andy Kitson on August 3rd, 2009
By now, most of the major mobile handset manufacturers have announced results for Q209 and, bar any unforeseen developments at late reporters such as ZTE, these results were a little better than I’d been expecting.
Nevertheless, with approximately 269 million devices shipping in the quarter just gone, this performance is still around 9% down on the comparable period of 2008. The third quarter is usually much quieter as the industry saves its biggest deals for the pre-Christmas period in Q4. So, shipments could still be down 10% year-on-year (y-o-y), as Nokia continues to predict.
Nokia‘s 103.2 million devices shipped in Q209 represented 38% of the industry total. For Nokia, this is a 10.7% improvement quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q), but is still 15.4% down on the 122 million units it shipped a year ago. The company is now making concerted efforts to tackle the North American and emerging markets.
Meanwhile, Motorola and Sony Ericsson continue to be left behind by their Asian rivals Samsung and LGE: with Q209 shipments of 52.3 million and 29.8 million, respectively, Samsung and LGE are rapidly growing their market share, with Samsung expected to exceed 20% market share by the end of this year. Samsung shipments grew by 13.9% q-o-q and by 14.4% y-o-y, while LGE shipments grew by 31.9% q-o-q and by 7.6% y-o-y, suggesting that LGE’s efforts in the high-end market (led by its popular Cookie model) will help it to regain some of the momentum it lost last year.
Apple also had a very good Q209, shifting 5.2 million iPhones. By comparison, RIM sold around eight million BlackBerries over the same period, but Apple’s q-o-q and y-o-y growth rates (36.8% and 643%, respectively) are much better than those of RIM (6.7% and 42.9%, respectively). Apple ought to do even better in Q309 as the new iteration of the iPhone arrives in more markets over the coming months. Wider distribution for the iPhone in the US would also very much improve penetration.
Palm’s Pre arrived too late to bolster the company’s Q209 results, when around 0.4 million older models shipped. Reportedly, strong sales of the Pre have already been seen, but the device’s limited availability (Sprint Nextel has exclusive rights in the US) may count against the kind of growth Palm has previously enjoyed with its premium devices. Rumours abound, however, of further devices aimed at the consumer segment, so we’ll see what transpires…
New devices based on the Android OS are set to come thick and fast over the next few months, with Motorola chipping in with a new family of phones using this platform. Taiwan’s HTC – which is currently the biggest supplier of Android-based phones – sold three milion devices in Q209: this was not as many as had been hoped, but still represented q-o-q and y-o-y growth of 25% and 7%, respectively.
Around 41 million smartphones were sold in Q209, versus 36 million in Q109, or growth of almost 14%. With vendors’ emphasis shifting to high-end devices, I expect that we’ll be seeing annual shipments of 176 million in 2009, up by 11% from 158 million in 2008. Smartphones accounted for a little over 13% of all mobile phones sold in 2008; in 2009, this could be in the order of 15-16%.
Tags: Android, Apple, BlackBerry, consumer handsets, High Tech Computer, HTC, iPhone, LG Electronics, LGE, market share, mobile devices, mobile phones, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Pre, Research In Motion, RIM, Samsung, shipments, smartphones, Sony Ericsson, Sprint Nextel, vendors, ZTE