THE SMARTPHONE MARKET seems to have held up and even looks to be climbing out of the recession, showing modest year-on-year growth for all but two companies, according to the latest Smartphone Market Trends Report from Canayls.
The market research group's 2009/2010 study reported smartphone sales growth of four per cent against the same quarter last year, and a 13 per cent increase from the previous quarter.
Nokia retained its lead in worldwide smartphone shipments, but saw its share fall by about five per cent to 40 per cent.
Apple's Iphone remains a favourite, growing its market share by four per cent to 18 per cent partly due to high shipments of the 3G S model. Apple is in third place behind RIM, which achieved 21 per cent market share. HTC remained in fourth place with five per cent of the market.
"The smartphone market continues to hold up pretty well," said Canalys senior analyst Pete Cunningham.
"While growth has undoubtedly slowed, it is still outperforming the overall mobile phone market by some margin, as well as driving data revenue for operators, and smartphones are ushering in a range of changes in user behaviour when it comes to what people actually do on their phones."
Symbian is still the leader by far in terms of operating systems, but its share slipped to 46 per cent this quarter. RIM and Apple came in second and third respectively, while Microsoft lagged in fourth place with less than nine per cent. The new open source, Linux based Android operating system grew by about one per cent to nearly four per cent.
Cunningham suggested that user satisfaction with the Iphone, and the fact that it's being offered by new mobile operators, including Orange, will only improve Apple's market share.
"Demand for the Iphone 3G S far outstripped supply, and we expect to see continued growth for Apple, especially with new operators coming onboard, for example in the UK with the end of O2's exclusivity on the device," said Cunningham.
"Our end-user research indicates growing demand for touch-screen products, and Apple's satisfaction ratings in our surveys are consistently the highest of any vendor."
Current network operator deals have an impact on regional popularity, according to Canalys, which explained that, although Apple leads in France, RIM is in front in the UK. µ