iPhone and Android Fueling Worldwide Smartphone Growth

Sales of smartphones grew 56.7 percent in the first quarter of this year, according to new figures from IDC, far outpacing the 21.7 percent growth of the overall mobile market. Handset makers Apple (s aapl) and Motorola (s mot) exhibited the largest growth in terms of smartphones sold and both gained in market share, but even with 53 percent more smartphone sales than the prior year quarter, Nokia’s (s nok) market share was unchanged. Research In Motion (s rimm) sold more BlackBerry devices in the first quarter of 2010 over 2009, but the overall market growth outpaced BlackBerry sales, and RIM’s market share dipped slightly as a result. Rounding out the top five handset makers, HTC sold 73.3 percent more converged handsets than it did in the prior year quarter and managed a slight gain in overall share.

1Q10 Sales 1Q10 Share 1Q09 Sales 1Q09 Share
Nokia 21.5 39.3% 13.7 39.3%
Research In Motion 10.6 19.4% 7.3 20.9%
Apple 8.8 16.1% 3.8 10.9%
HTC 2.6 4.8% 1.5 4.3%
Motorola 2.3 4.2% 1.2 3.4%
Other 8.9 16.3% 7.2 20.6%

Source: IDC

Looking closely at which companies are growing their market share and which are treading water or losing share, the gainers all have something in common — they create smartphones that mainly run on either Apple’s iPhone OS or Google’s Android platforms. Apple, of course, is the only vendor that uses its own platform, while HTC and Motorola have turned to Android for most, if not all, of their recent smartphones. Android standouts from HTC include the Hero, Droid Eris, myTouch 3G, Nexus One and Incredible, while Motorola is finding success with its Droid, Devour, Cliq and Backflip. Hoping to turn this trend, Nokia and RIM recently announced new operating systems to better compete — Nokia will utilize Symbian 3 in new handsets such as the N8, while RIM plans to power future smartphones with BlackBerry 6 in the third quarter of 2010.

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