LONDON – Android led the market smartphones in the first quarter of 2011 with 35 percent market share and 35.7 million units shipped out of a total of 101.0 million shipped in total, according to market research firm Canalys Ltd.
Canalys (Reading, England) puts Android in the lead in smartphones for the second quarter running. At the same time, Canalys stated that Asia Pacific (APAC) became the largest smart phone market region, with year-on-year growth of 98 percent to 37.3 million units, putting it ahead of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). On a country basis, mainland China, South Korea and India delivered strong volumes and registered triple-digit growth.
Overall, worldwide smart phone shipments grew 83 percent to 101.0 million units, compared with a 1Q10. Though its market share shrank from 39 percent a year ago to 24 percent in Q1 2011, Nokia held onto its worldwide leadership position with 24.2 million units shipped – a 13 percent year-on-year rise – despite the current realignment of its platform strategy, staying ahead of RIM in EMEA and Apple in APAC. APAC became the largest region for Nokia, accounting for 53 percent of its overall shipments, overtaking EMEA by more than 3 million units. Canalys said that is country-level data shows that Nokia remains number one in 28 countries, including mainland China, where it grew 79 percent to 8.9 million units, thanks in part to Chinese New Year shipments.
"HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola and Sony Ericsson drove Android shipments in the first quarter, with each vendor shipping well over 3 million devices," said Canalys principal analyst Pete Cunningham. "Samsung also shipped nearly 3.5 million bada operating system-based smart phones, outperforming total shipments of Windows Phone devices by more than a million units."
Nokia, Apple, RIM, Samsung and HTC were the top five global smart phone vendors, as in Q4 2010. Apple continued to make market share gains, reaching 19 percent. RIM’s share, however, dropped in Q1, as its portfolio awaited a refresh and the vendor focused on the PlayBook launch. Overtaking Motorola, LG moved into sixth place, with its Optimus series of Android smart phones doing well in all regions. The US remained the largest country for smart phone shipments, with Apple substantially extending its lead, achieving a share of 31 percent and growth of over 150 percent year-on-year. Volumes were boosted significantly by shipments of the iPhone 4 with Verizon Wireless. Android remained the leading smart phone platform in the US for the third consecutive quarter, with a 49 percent share. Growing by well over 200 percent, HTC became the leading Android vendor in the US and the second-place smart phone vendor in the country overall.
The popularity of 4G-branded models, such as the Samsung Galaxy S 4G, HTC EVO Shift 4G and the T-Mobile myTouch 4G, heavily influenced US market shipments this past quarter. Q1 also marked the first full quarter of LTE smart phone shipments, following Verizon’s 4G network launch in December 2010. Canalys estimates that shipments of these devices reached over 600,000 units.
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