8 November 2010


Handset market grows to 346.2m in Q3, while Samsung gains market share

The mobile handset market is set for a stellar performance in 2010 after shipments reached 346.2 million in the third quarter, according to ABI Research. For the first three quarters of the year, year-on-year growth has been hovering around 20%. “This is a remarkable feat, irrespective of the rebound effect following the deferred handset purchases during the economic recession,” says Jake Saunders, VP for forecasting. “Layer on ‘smartphone envy’ and you have a recipe for high handset volumes,” he adds.

This rebound is having some interesting consequences, says ABI:

  • Component manufacturers have never had it so good. Nokia in particular reported a hardware crunch, especially with displays (e.g. AMOLED) and semiconductor components for low-cost handsets, where Nokia’s leading market share has increased its exposure.
  • Vendors that have strong portfolios in smartphones (RIM, Apple, HTC and Motorola) have seen their growth in market share outperform the market (likely to continue into Q4/2010 and 2011).
  • Unless Nokia can resolve its component resourcing challenges, it is likely to be supply-constrained again in Q4, which typically equates to 30% of annual handset sales. “Nokia’s market share could well come under further pressure,” adds Kevin Burden, VP & practice director for mobile devices.
  • Handset vendors with greater in-house ability to source their own components (e.g. Samsung and LG) will be able to take advantage of the market opportunity to expand volumes.
  • Typically, a handset boom period is followed by market softening as customers wait for the next ‘must have’ handset feature innovation to make its way to market. However, there is still considerable room for innovation in the smartphone sector, not just ‘feature innovation’ but also ‘cost-reduction innovation’, which should keep customers keen.

While Samsung grew its market share in Q3 (to 20.6%), other vendors contracted: Nokia to 31.9%, LG to 8.2%, Sony-Ericsson to 3%, and Motorola to 2.6%, notes ABI. Meanwhile, smartphone vendors Apple and Research In Motion (RIM) increased their market shares to 4.1% and 4%, respectively.

See related items:

Mobile handset shipments to reach 1.43bn in 2011

Global handset shipments exceed 321 million in Q2/2010

Year-on-year handset growth slows from 17% to 13% in Q2

Search: Mobile handset shipments


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