Analyzing the world's 10 biggest handset makers in Q2

Michael Morgan ABIThe numbers are in, and it's time to make sense of the data. ABI's Michael Morgan analyzes the world's 10 largest branded cell phone makers in the second quarter of 2010, providing sales data as well as insight into their strategy and competitive position in the market.

Though most research firms only list the market's top five handset makers, ABI lists the full top 10 (though, for competitive reasons, ABI does not disclose shipments numbers for some of the Tier 2 players).

A few notes: ABI's numbers represent "sell in," or phone shipments into the retail channel, rather than "sell out," or sales to consumers. Further, ABI's ranking only counts phones that carry the manufacturer's brand. Therefore, phones that bandy a carrier's logo without a hint of which company actually built the device are not counted.

And see ABI's first quarter 2009 rankings, second quarter 2009 rankings , third quarter 2009 rankings and fourth quarter 2009 rankings. (Yes, somehow we missed the first quarter of 2010. We'll make it up to you, we promise.)

Vendor Shipments (in millions) Growth
2Q 2009 1Q 2010 2Q 2010 QoQ  (1Q10-2Q10) YoY (2Q09-2Q10)
103.2 107.8 111.0 3.0% 7.6%
Analysis from ABI's Michael Morgan: While Nokia's handset shipments increased QoQ, Nokia's market share slipped to 34.6 percent in the second quarter. The world's largest handset OEM has been juggling some serious re-organizations and R&D has been aligned closer to business priorities. Currently Nokia is trying to update Symbian, launch MeeGo and drive adoption of its Ovi services in the hopes gaining new service revenue streams to compensate for decreasing handset margins. While the Nokia handset platforms are selling well at lower price points, its position as top dog becomes increasingly tenuous as the Android OS and Samsung continue to etch away Nokia and Symbian's market share.
52.3 64.3 63.8 -0.8% 22.0%
Analysis from ABI's Michael Morgan: Samsung ended a seven quarter winning streak of increasing QoQ market share dropping to 19.9 percent in Q2. This decrease is attributed to weakened economic conditions in Europe. Samsung has consistently delivered feature packed handsets that are the hallmark of South Korean handset OEMs and has championed the use of touchscreens in the feature phone segment. In the last month of Q2 Samsung's newest smartphone the Galaxy S sold 500,000 in its home market of South Korea. In Q3 Samsung will release this device on all four major U.S. carriers, a market with six times the potential of South Korea. This could be the push Samsung needs to achieve 10 percent of the smartphone market.
29.8 27.1 30.6 12.9% 2.7%
Analysis from ABI's Michael Morgan: Although LG's handset shipments increased 13 percent QoQ, revenues only increased 6 percent due to lowering ASPs in the feature phone market. With 52 percent of LG's volume going to North America and Europe, it has become imperative that LG develops a solid foothold in the smartphone market to ride the higher margins and shipment growth. Historically, LG's range of mid- to high-end feature phones has delivered consistent market share growth; however when looking into the future, this segment is being squeezed by smartphones on the top and low cost handsets at the bottom. ABI Research believes it is imperative that LG makes its move in 2010 or it may experience the same troubles as Sony Ericsson and Motorola.
8.0 10.5 11.2 6.7% 40.5%
Analysis from ABI's Michael Morgan: RIMs position in this vendor ranking is unique as RIM does not offer lower-priced feature phones and has risen to the No. 4 spot solely through the sale of smartphones which only account for 20 percent of the overall market. In this space RIM has delivered a portfolio of smartphones, supported by the famed Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) and the BlackBerry Messenger Service (BBM). The combination of BBM and Qwerty Keypads have become a real hit in the youth and emerging markets where the free (between other BB users) and secure texting service offers the cost conscious all the 'CrackBerry' they can handle. RIM has released its latest OS (6) with the hopes of delivering improved browsing, media and touchscreen capabilities that will drive future growth.
13.8 10.5 11.0 4.8% -20.3%
Analysis from ABI's Michael Morgan: Q2 represents the 7th quarter in a row that Sony Ericsson has lost market share. Sony Ericsson handsets have historically focused on the feature phone segment and specialized in music or camera phones. Consumers have become more demanding, wanting a phone that does it all, making strength in one feature less desirable than mediocrity in all features. Sony Ericsson has decided to answer this call through the development of a smartphone portfolio with its flagship device the X10 landing at AT&T with SE's custom UI platform over an Android OS (1.6). While this may not be the highest end of smartphones, it does fit nicely in the middle of the road...much like the rest of Sony Ericsson's strategy.
5.2 8.8 8.4 -4.0% 61.5%
Analysis from ABI's Michael Morgan: Apple rang in its best quarter ever in Q4 with 8.7 million iPhones. The iPhone continues its role as a global smartphone ambassador with successful arrivals in South Korea, China, new carriers in Western Europe and a growing cult following in Japan. Speculation as to how Apple will top the 3GS with the next iPhone iteration has already begun with Steve Jobs promising consumers a home run. ABI believes some pro-sumers may have trouble deciding whether to spend their money on the iPad or the new iPhone, but either way Apple will continue to own much of the mobile devices market mindshare.
14.8 8.5 8.3 -2.4% -43.9%
Analysis from ABI's Michael Morgan: Beginning in Q4 and carrying through Q1 and Q2 Motorola has delivered top of mind smartphones such as the Droid, and most recently the Droid X. While Verizon Wireless's Droid 'sub-brand' and marketing dollars didn't hurt the situation,  Motorola did deliver quality Android smartphones and prove that it can move away from its dwindling feature phone sales. It is imperative that Motorola make their smartphone strategy stick as Motorola has consecutively lost market share every single quarter since 3Q 2006!
 -- -- -- 3.7% 13.5%
Analysis from ABI's Michael Morgan: ZTE is one of China's largest telecommunications manufacturers who produce a variety of hardware products including base stations, handsets, switching systems, optical transport etc. ZTE's global strategy has developed relationships with major telecoms in every region. ZTE has made a name for itself with low cost handsets in emerging/developing markets and has built relationships with tier I carriers in the U.S. through their cellular modems and tier II carriers with low cost handsets. Leveraging manufacturing locations in 50 countries, ZTE is able to deliver low cost handsets either under the ZTE brand or white-label devices for carrier-branded handsets to large operators such as Vodafone. ZTE has recently announced an Android 2.1 smartphone for China Unicom priced at $179, which should allow ZTE to ride the rapidly growing smartphone market in China and migrate its brand image from low cost to affordable value.
 --  -- -- 66.7% 83.3%
Analysis from ABI's Michael Morgan: The counter point to Motorola's Android success is HTC and its Droid Incredible and Evo 4G smartphones. HTC and Motorola together accounted for over 50 percent of all Android smartphones sold in Q2. A year ago, HTC stated it would focus on improving its brand recognition in the U.S., and today it has delivered a 400 percent increase in brand recognition with plans to replicate the process in China. With ownership of its own production facilities, custom 'Sense' UI and a solid range of high- and mid-range smartphones it can be expected that HTC will become a regular in the top ten handset vendors list.
-- -- -- 41.5% 48.0%
Analysis from ABI's Michael Morgan: Much like ZTE, Huawei is one of China's leading telecom infrastructure companies, with a strong global reach in all regions. Huawei is also in the business of making low cost and white label devices along side their branded devices. Huawei has extended its low cost capabilities into the smartphone space with the T-Mobile Pulse, an Android based entry level smartphone for prepaid consumers. Huawei also carries aspirations of penetrating the U.S. market and is actively developing its portfolio to meet the tastes of U.S. carriers. However there are concerns around whether the U.S. will welcome Huawei's advances amid security concerns.
Total Top 10 241.0 252.5 263.4 4.3% 9.3%
Total Handsets Shipped 269 303 321.2 6.0% 19.4%
Source: ABI Research
Analyzing the world's 10 biggest handset makers in Q2
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