Print 27 comment(s) - last by Luticus.. on Feb 10 at 8:36 AM

Android grew nine fold in 2010
Gartner stats rank smartphone makers

The mobile phone world is growing quickly in the high-end with more and more mobile users migrating to feature laden smartphones from feature phones and entry-level devices. The average smartphone can often replace multiple devices for some users thanks to digital convergence.

The latest statistics in from Gartner show that smartphone sales are booming in the market with a growth rate of 72% last year. The global market for mobile phones of all types has blossomed to 1.6 billion units according to the research firm. While Apple grabs much of the news with the iPhone smartphone, the company is ranked as the fifth largest mobile phone firm in the world with RIM coming in fourth place.

Gartner also reports that Android smartphones passed Symbian devices in sales for Q4. Symbian is still listed as the best selling smartphone OS overall according to Gartner thanks to the widespread use by other makers of phones using the OS.

Nokia is hurting badly and feeling the heat with new CEO Stephen Elop noting that Nokia was standing on a "burning platform" referring to MeeGo and conceding that Apple owned the high-end market with the iPhone in an employee memo leaked today. Nokia is still the largest mobile phone vendor according to Gartner's numbers, but it declined from 36.4% of the market in 2009 to 28.9% in 2010.

Carolina Milanese from Gartner said, "The decline [of Nokia] is not solely attributable to Nokia’s continuing deficiency in high-end devices but is in part the result of the growth of legitimate white-box sales."

Gartner also noted that about half the phones sold in Q4 in Europe and North America were smartphones and that Android sales had increased by nine times. Samsung Electronics is ranked second in the Gartner list and LG Electronics is third. Both of these firms are selling a large number of Android devices.

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RE: Smartphone Sales Grew 72%
By rudy on 2/9/2011 4:21:14 PM , Rating: 1
It is kinda stupid actually. So phones with more features have always been showing up for the price of phones with less features from before. What is the difference between a smart phone and a feature phone? Nothing, so someone puts an arbitrary devide in there somewhere and tries to create a new market. The fact is just that phones with more features are coming out and at lower prices as has been the case for 15 years nothing has changed. And go figure people who buy new phones are not opting for old ones lacking in power, speed, features etc. Every spec on phones is going up, and has been for a very long time so what exactly is a smart phone what makes it smart? I have read and heard people to define it and there definitions always are senseless or based on the fact they are ignorant to what existed before they started calling phones smart phones.

The article migh have a point if it read on average people are buying more expensive phones, but this may not be the case, the roughtly 100-200$ range has been pretty common for a very long time, now you just get more features for that price.

RE: Smartphone Sales Grew 72%
By Luticus on 2/9/2011 4:36:26 PM , Rating: 2
A smart phone to me is the "unification" of the pocket pc and the common cell phone. For example i have a dell x51v pocket pc running windows mobile 5.0 and i have a samsung omnia that runs windows mobile 6.1, the only real "major" difference between the two devices is that my omnia is a phone. Contrary to this my prior LG ENV does not do half of what my "smart phone" does. For example i couldn't sync my ENV with an exchange server, I couldn't side load apps outside of it's "app stores", i couldn't load my own ringtones without using 3rd party software (~hacking it), I couldn't teather with the ENV. I couldn't edit word or excel documents (or even view them), I couldn't change the interface or install a completely new one as i have on my omnia, i couldn't upgrade the operating system (hard to do but doable on a windows mobile phone), i couldn't remote desktop into my computer at home from work and manipulate it with a stylus like i CAN on my omnia, i couldn't connect to wireless network and surf the web the way i can on my omnia. The funny part is that the ENV is a fairly capable phone and i'd even go so far as to say that the env is about as close as you can get to a smart phone with out actually crossing the line. I think the new term is warranted.

RE: Smartphone Sales Grew 72%
By Souka on 2/9/2011 5:49:57 PM , Rating: 2
When I started my job a few years ago I was given a Samsung Saga... Windows mobile 5, touch screen and physical keyboard.

That WASN'T a smartphone....

RE: Smartphone Sales Grew 72%
By vol7ron on 2/9/2011 7:52:19 PM , Rating: 2
Smartphone is really a new term to define an old product/practice. Sort of like how the "RESTful" web service reference doesn't really refer to anything new.

In my opinion it's just marketing jibber-jabber to define more capable touch screens phones. I know you can take a jab at the history of touch screen phones, as I've owned quite a few myself (Palms, Handsprings, iPaqs, Axims) even to use the Handspring with a Sprint Compact Flash card. I think for techies the whole smartphone classification boils down to the CPU/GPU and how IOPS can be performed.

Whereas the old PDAs it was much less than today's standard.

RE: Smartphone Sales Grew 72%
By Luticus on 2/10/2011 8:36:09 AM , Rating: 2
I think it boils down to: Is it a miniaturized pc with a phone integrated, or is it a phone that can do text and email?

In the end it's all really just semantics and marketing talk but there is a clear difference in the capabilities between a standard cell phone and what we refer to as a "smart" phone. Technically it's the same thing as calling a router "smart" or "dumb". It's all just how many features it has, they're both still routers.

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