Framingham, Mass. - Worldwide demand for cellphones rose markedly in the second quarter, driven by demand for smartphones and low-cost basic models, research company
Second-quarter worldwide unit shipments rose 14.5 percent to 317.5 million compared with the year-ago period, with first-half unit shipments up 18.5 percent to 620.6 million.
Most of the growth came from handset suppliers outside the traditional top five, with the smaller vendors increasing their second-quarter share to 28.3 percent from a year-ago 25.3 percent. Three of the top five vendors -- Nokia, LG and SonyEricsson -- lost unit share in the second quarter compared to the year-ago period.
Smartphone growth, especially in regions such as Latin America and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), will continue to power market growth this year, the company said. "Lower smartphone average selling prices, increased consumer interest, and aggressive expansion plans on the part of key suppliers will keep the device type growing above market growth rate," said IDC senior research analyst
Companies with a "strict focus" on smartphones -- including RIM, Apple and HTC -- "have clearly benefited from steadily increasing user interest," said senior research analyst
. Nonetheless, it's not just smartphone vendors that have driven the market forward, Llamas said. "It's also the companies with a presence among entry-level handsets and mid-range devices, which have long been the domain of the worldwide leaders."
However, "to dismiss the worldwide leaders would be a mistake," Llamas noted. "Each currently enjoys broad distribution, a deep portfolio and brand recognition. Moreover, each is in the midst of refreshing its respective product portfolio, with greater emphasis on smartphones during the second half of this year." Still, he continued, "the upward pressure from vendors outside the current top five vendors, particularly Apple and Motorola, will provide tough competition in the quarters to come."
In the U.S., smartphones took center stage in the quarter with the launch of Apple's iPhone 4, HTC's Droid Incredible, HTC's Evo 4G, Motorola's Droid X, and -- from two U.S. carriers -- Samsung's flagship Galaxy S class of Android smartphones, IDC said. More smartphones due in the second half include Galaxy S models from two other carriers, several handsets from Dell, and BlackBerry models expected to offer RIM's next-generation OS, expected to be unveiled next week. Smartphone growth in Canada was underscored by such new Android smartphones as Sony Ericsson's Xperia X10 and Motorola's Quench, DEXT and BackFlip.
Nonetheless, in North America, "basic traditional mobile phones gained popularity with new wireless carrier entrants and discount brands," IDC noted.
Top Five Mobile Phone Vendors, Q2 2010
(Worldwide Unit Shipments in Millions)
Q2 '10 Shipments
Q2 '10 Market Share
Q2 '09 Shipments
Q2 '09 Market Share
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, July 2010
Note: Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales.