SAN FRANCISCO—Nearly 101 million smartphones shipped globally during the fourth quarter of 2010, more than the number of PCs that shipped in the quarter, according to market research firm International Data Corp. (IDC).
Vendors shipped a total of 100.9 million smartphones during the fourth quarter, up 87.2 percent from the same period of 2009, IDC said. Earlier this year, IDC reported that 92.1 million PCs shipped in the fourth quarter, the largest total ever recorded.
For the full year 2010, vendors shipped a total of 302.6 million smartphones worldwide, up 74.4 percent from 2009, according to IDC. Total PC shipments for 2010 reached 346.2 million, an increase of 13.6 percent from 2009, according to IDC.
"Android continues to gain by leaps and bounds, helping to drive the smartphone market," said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Phone Technology and Trends team.
According to Llamas, Android has become the cornerstone of several vendors' smartphone strategies and has quickly become the challenger to market leader Symbian, which is backed by market leader Nokia.
Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker program, said component suppliers will help drive sustained interest in smartphones.
"Mobile phone users will find compelling reasons to turn in their older models as new ones are launched with dual-core processors and near-field communication chips," he said.
IDC said it expects further gains for the smartphone market in 2011, as smartphone vendors deepen and broaden their offerings. "IDC expects vendors to provide more mid-range and low-end smartphones at lower prices to reach the mass market," said Llamas.