Smartphone shipments grew by 59% in 2010

Worldwide shipments of smartphones continue to rise with 2010 sales figures hitting new highs for every manufacturer.

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments grew an impressive 75% annually to reach a record 94 million units in the fourth quarter of 2010. Apple maintained its small lead over RIM, while Nokia continued to under perform even with a record 100 million units shipped.

Apple almost doubles volume

Tom Kang, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global smartphone shipments grew a healthy 75% annually to reach a record 94 million units in Q4 2010. Apple was once again the fastest growing brand among the big three smartphone players, as it almost doubled volumes on an annual basis, maintained a small quarterly lead over RIM, and captured 17% global marketshare.”

Smartphone sales hit 293 million

Neil Mawston, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Global smartphone shipments reached 293 million units during full-year 2010, almost doubling from 151 million in 2008 and 175 million in 2009, highlighting the rapid growth of this high-value segment.”

“The big three hardware vendors of Nokia, RIM and Apple were less dominant in 2010, as their combined global marketshare slipped from 73% in 2009 to 67% in 2010, mostly due to a spike in Android vendors such as Samsung, Motorola, HTC and Sony Ericsson. Indeed, Android was the star platform of 2010, as it gave iOS4 some much-needed competition and outgrew all major rival operating systems worldwide.”

Nokia hits 100 million

Nokia became the first ever vendor to ship 100 million smartphones in a single year. However, this impressive achievement could not hide the downturn in its quarterly marketshare, which has slipped from 39% worldwide in Q4 2009 to just 30% in Q4 2010 due to increased competition from Apple and several Android vendors

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