Worldwide mobile phone sales totalled 269.1 million units in the first quarter of 2009, down 8.6 percent year-over-year according to information technology research and advisory firm Gartner, although smartphone sales surpassed 36.4 million units, a 12.7 percent increase over Q1 2008. Smartphone sales represented 13.5 percent of all mobile device sales in the first quarter of 2009, compared with 11 percent a year ago. Research In Motion's smartphone operating share grew 13.3 percent year-over-year to 19.9 percent market share on sales of 7.2 million, while Apple increased from 5.3 percent market share in the first quarter of 2008 to 10.8 percent in the previous quarter, with iPhone sales in Q1 topping 3.9 million. While Nokia still leads in total smartphone sales (14.9 million in Q1 2009, up from 14.5 million a year ago), Symbian's share of the overall OS market continues to drop, falling from 45.1 percent a year ago to its current 41.2 percent.
Gartner contends that positive performances by RIM and Apple attest to the vital role services that services and applications now play in smartphone success. "Much of the smartphone growth during the first quarter of 2009 was driven by touchscreen products, both in midtier and high-end devices," said Gartner principal analyst Roberta Cozza in a prepared statement. "‘Touch for the sake of touch' was enough of a driver in the midtier space, but tighter integration with applications and services around music, mobile email, and Internet browsing made the difference at the high end of the market."
For more on the Q1 smartphone metrics:
- read this release
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