The global handset market in the third quarter of 2010

The third-quarter numbers for the global handset market are in, and it's time to start parsing the information. Research firms Strategy Analytics and IDC released separate, detailed looks at market share, shipment and growth information for the world's Tier 1 cell phone makers and smartphone vendors.

(Don't forget to check out our wrap-up of the wireless industry in the third quarter and our list of the top 10 U.S. wireless carriers in the third quarter.)

Top five global mobile phone vendors' total shipments, third quarter 2010:

Global Handset Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q1'09

Q2'09

Q3'09

Q4'09

2009

Q1'10

Q2'10

Q3 '10

Nokia

93.2

103.2

108.5

126.9

431.8

107.8

111.1

110.4

Samsung

45.8

52.3

60.2

68.8

227.1

64.3

63.8

71.4

LG

22.6

29.8

31.6

33.9

117.9

27.1

30.6

28.4

Apple

3.8

5.2

7.4

8.7

25.1

8.8

8.4

14.1

RIM

7.3

8.0

8.5

10.7

34.5

10.6

11.2

12.4

Others

71.8

74.6

74.4

88.3

309.1

72.8

85.4

90.3

Total

244.5

273.1

290.6

337.3

1145.5

291.4

310.5

327.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Global Handset Vendor Marketshare %

Q1'09

Q2'09

Q3'09

Q4'09

2009

Q1'10

Q2'10

Q3 '10

Nokia

38.1%

37.8%

37.3%

37.6%

37.7%

37.0%

35.8%

33.8%

Samsung

18.7%

19.1%

20.7%

20.4%

19.8%

22.1%

20.5%

21.8%

LG

9.2%

10.9%

10.9%

10.1%

10.3%

9.3%

9.9%

8.7%

Apple

1.6%

1.9%

2.5%

2.6%

2.2%

3.0%

2.7%

4.3%

RIM

3.0%

2.9%

2.9%

3.2%

3.0%

3.6%

3.6%

3.8%

Others

29.4%

27.3%

25.6%

26.2%

27.0%

25.0%

27.5%

27.6%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Growth Year-over-Year

-13.4%

-8.1%

-4.3%

14.8%

-2.7%

19.2%

13.7%

12.5%

Source: Strategy Analytics

Top five global mobile phone vendors' market share growth, first quarter 2009 to third quarter 2010:

Source: Strategy Analytics

Top global smartphone vendors market share, third quarter of 2009 to third quarter of 2010:

Source: Strategy Analytics

Handset market analysis:

IDC said the worldwide mobile phone market grew 14.6 percent in the third quarter of 2010, which the firm said was the fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, driven in part by the fast-growing converged mobile device category. According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped 340.5 million units in 3Q10 compared with 297.1 million units in the third quarter of 2009. Strategy Analytics said annual growth came in at 13 percent compared with a rate of 16 percent during the first six months of 2010.

Research firm ABI said the growth has created a number of factors:

  • Component manufacturers have never had it so good. Nokia in particular reported a hardware crunch, especially with displays (e.g. AMOLED) and semiconductor components for low-cost handsets. Nokia's leading market-share in this segment has increased Nokia's exposure to the component crunch.
  • Vendors that have strong portfolios in smartphones (RIM, Apple, HTC and Motorola) have seen their growth in market-share outperform the market.
  • Unless Nokia can resolve its component resourcing challenges, it is likely to be supply-constrained again in the fourth quarter.
  • Handset vendors with greater in-house ability to source their own components (e.g. Samsung and LG) will be able to take advantage of the market opportunity to expand volumes.
  • Typically a handset boom period is followed by a market softening as customers wait for the next "must have" handset feature innovation to make its way to the market. However, ABI said there is still considerable room for innovation in the smartphone sector, not just "feature innovation" but also "cost reduction innovation," which should keep customers keen.

Vendor analysis:
        Nokia
--
IDC said The company grew converged mobile device shipments 61% in 3Q10, but average selling prices for the device type dropped to €136, compared to €190 in the same quarter last year.
--Strategy Analytics said component constraints aside, much of Nokia's growth during the fourth quarter will depend on the success of its four high-profile new models, the N8, C7, C6-01 and E7. The N8, C7 and C6-01 will be attacking Sony Ericsson, LG and Samsung, while the E7 will set its sights on RIM, HTC and others.
        Samsung
--IDC said Samsung marked a new milestone during the third quarter, pushing through the 70 million unit mark for the first time in the company's history. Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, Samsung appears poised to bring more smartphones to market, with a new Wave 2 awaiting launch and more mass-market devices for emerging markets.
--Strategy Analytics said Samsung continued to grow volumes at a slightly above-average rate due to healthy demand for its expanding portfolio of Android smartphones such as the Galaxy S.
        LG
--IDC said LG has yet to make a significant impact in the smartphone category unlike its competitors. Although operating margin returned to the same levels as a year ago, sales and profitability both fell significantly.
--Strategy Analytics said LG, like Motorola and Sony Ericsson before it, has missed much of the boom in premium 3G smartphones and this is causing financial pain. LG must be careful not to repeat this error if a fresh wave of 3G tablet growth emerges in 2011.
        Apple
--IDC said Apple's record shipment performance can be attributed to the introduction of the iPhone 4 in 17 new countries last quarter. The record performance came despite "Antennagate," the name used to describe the controversy around alleged iPhone reception problems, in July.
--Strategy Analytics said Apple was a star performer, as it surged past RIM and Sony Ericsson. Apple's growth continues to come from expanding its retail presence across dozens of countries and operators worldwide. A next major wave of expansion is likely to come from a CDMA version of the iPhone at Verizon Wireless in the U.S., a move that could put considerable competitive pressure on Samsung, LG and Motorola in the first half of 2011.
        Research In Motion
--IDC said RIM's results were boosted by the introduction of the higher-cost Torch in the United States, a key market due to the size and intensity of competition.
--Strategy Analytics said RIM's biggest challenge still lies in its relatively weak touchphone portfolio for consumer users, a gap that the new Torch model has so far struggled to fill.

For more:
- see this ABI release
- see this Strategy Analytics release
- see this IDC release
- see these handset numbers from the second quarter of 2010
- see these handset numbers from the first quarter of 2010
- see these handset numbers from the fourth quarter 2009
- see these handset numbers from the third quarter 2009
- see these handset numbers from the second quarter 2009
- see the wireless industry's performance so far in the second quarter

Read More:
The global handset market in the third quarter of 2010