Emerging markets drive mobile phone sales to new level

Smartphone sales grew 96 percent from the third quarter last year, and smartphones accounted for 19.3 percent of overall mobile phone sales in the third quarter of 2010.

By ·

Worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totaled 417 million units in the third quarter of 2010, a 35 percent increase from the third quarter of 2009, according to Gartner, Inc.

Smartphone sales grew 96 percent from the third quarter last year, and smartphones accounted for 19.3 percent of overall mobile phone sales in the third quarter of 2010.

“This is the third consecutive double-digit increase in sales year-on-year, indicating that consumer demand is healthy,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner. “This quarter saw Apple and Android drive record smartphone sales. Apple’s share of the smartphone market surpassed Research In Motion (RIM) in North America to put it second behind Android while Android volumes also grew rapidly making it the No. 2 operating system worldwide.”

Although the top three worldwide mobile device manufacturers Nokia, Samsung and LG remained the same – albeit with reduced market share - the third quarter saw Apple rise into the top five manufacturers, surpassing RIM for fourth place.

In addition to strong growth of smartphone sales in mature markets, increasing sales of white-box products in some emerging regions drove sales of mobile phones upward once again.

“In the third quarter, white-box manufacturers continued to expand their reach outside of China into markets such as India, Russia, Africa and Latin America,” said Milanesi. “We firmly believe this phenomenon will not be short-lived as we still see a continued need for non-3G devices. Although we have seen acceleration in sales this quarter, we expect an even bigger volume in the fourth quarter of 2010.”

The rise of white-box manufacturers from Asia has also helped as a proportion of overall sales, increasing its market share to 33.0 percent in the third quarter of 2010.

“This is having a profound effect on the top five mobile handset manufacturers’ combined share that dropped from 83 percent in the third quarter of 2009 to 66.9 percent in the third quarter of 2010,” said Milanesi.

Jock O’Connell, Beacon Economics’ International Trade Adviser in Sacramento, told SCMR that U.S. multinationals are benefitting, although most of the “guts” for phones are manufactured in Asia.

“One interesting exception on the list is Infineon, which Intel just bought,” he noted.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Supply Chain Visibility: Illuminating the Path to Responsive, Agile Operations
Supply chain visibility is not an end, but a tool. It is the means to achieving true supply chain effectiveness, agility and ultimately, corporate profitability.
Download Today!
From the December 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
Trade and transport analysts see rates rising across all modes in accordance with continued expansion of domestic and international markets. Economists, meanwhile, say shippers can expect revenue growth in transport verticals to remain in the 3%-plus range.
2018 Customs & Regulations Update:10 observations on the “digital trade transformation”
Moore on Pricing: Freight settlement and your TMS
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2018 Rate Forecast
Join our panel of top oil and transportation analysts for an exclusive look at where rates are headed and the issues driving those rate increases over the coming year.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2018 Rate Outlook: Economic Expansion, Pushing Rates Skyward
Trade and transport analysts see rates rising across all modes in accordance with continued...
Building the NextGen Supply Chain: Keeping pace with the digital economy
Peerless Media’s 2017 Virtual Summit shows how creating a data-rich ecosystem can eliminate...

2017 NASSTRAC Shipper of the Year: Mallinckrodt; Mastering and managing complexity
An inside look at how a large pharmaceutical firm transformed its vendor and supplier relationships...
2017 Alliance Awards: Recognizing outstanding supply chain partnerships
In an era where effective supply chain collaboration is both highly valued and elusive, Logistics...