LONDON Smartphone shipments worldwide grew 18 percent in 2009 to 171 million units at a $67 billion level, according to market research firm Forward Concepts (Tempe, Ariz.). The market for semiconductors and displays that serve smartphones reached $11.7 billion.
With the economy expected to continue improving, Forward Concepts forecasts a compound annual growth rate of 24 percent for smartphones so that they reach the 496 million unit annual level in 2014.
Nokia was the market leader in smartphone shipments, with an estimated 2009 market share of 36.4 percent, followed by Research in Motion (BlackBerry) at 19.4 percent, Apple at 14.9 percent and HTC at 6.3 percent. Sharp follows with a 3.5 percent market share, then Samsung at 3.4 percent. 18 other smartphone vendors constitute the remaining 20 percent share, according to Forward Concepts.
Western Europe has overtaken Japan to be the leader in smartphone consumption, with a 23 percent 2009 market share. However, thanks to the iPhone and the introduction of Android phones, North America is forecast to become the leading smartphone market in 2010, with a forecasted 22 percent share, closely followed by Western Europe at 21.6 percent, and fast-growing China at 17 percent.
Symbian continues to be the leading Smartphone operating system, Forward Concepts said, with an estimated 43 percent unit market share in 2009, while RIM's Blackberry operating system and Apple's OSX operating system has supplanted Microsoft Windows Mobile for the number 2 and number 3 positions; RIM with an estimated 19 percent share and OSX with 15 percent. Windows Mobile had a 13 percent share while Linux variants, including Android, reached 8 percent, followed by, Palm's WebOS with 2 percent.
Although Symbian is expected to remain dominant, Forward Concepts predicted that Android will grow to the number 2 position, followed by OSX in 2014.
Co-author of the report, Satish Menon, stated, "2009 was the year of smartphone applications, with Apple's leading App Store having reached 140,000 applications. All major OS vendors have followed suit, especially Nokia, with its own Ovi initiative. Mobile Internet uptake also remained strong during the year, posting a 29 percent YoY growth, reaching 500 million subscribers."
Carter Horney, also a co-author, commented, "On the hardware front, there is a shifting emphasis towards lower-cost smartphones in line with the projected growth in emerging countries. Entry-level and mid-range categories will experience significantly higher unit growth as compared to the higher-end devices popular in operator-subsidized regions."
Related links and articles:
The worldwide mobile phone market grew 11.3% in the fourth quarter of 2009
Microsoft, MediaTek partner on smartphones
PC, phone demand strong in 2010, says SIA's Scalise