THE SECOND QUARTER was a bumper three months for sales of mobile devices, according to Gartner.
The crystal ball gazers said that manufacturers enjoyed an impressive 13.8 per cent growth in sales from the same period last year. However not everyone had a bang up time with many of the big names suffering drops in individual sales and market share. Gartner also said that tough competition led to a decrease in prices.
Those who suffered were Nokia, LG, Sony Ericsson and Motorola. Nokia and Motorola posted particularly disappointing figures, losing 2.6 and 2.8 per cent market share, respectively. In the case of Motorola that drop represented a halving of output, which now puts it just above Apple.
For all the attention it gets, Apple is still small fry in the mobile phone market, with just 2.7 per cent of total sales. The fruit themed toymaker managed to flog 8.7 million devices, a figure that sounds impressive until you realise that the market leader Nokia managed to put out an astonishing 111 million devices in just three months. Even then Nokia's market share dropped by over 2.5 per cent.
As for operating systems, the big movers are Symbian and Android. Confirming that Symbian is in decline, Gartner reported an almost 10 per cent drop in devices sold with the operating system since the second quarter of 2009.
Underlining the growth of the Linux based Android OS, in the last year its market share has grown from just 1.8 per cent to an impressive 17.2 per cent, just 1 percent behind the second most popular OS from Research in Motion. Apple's IOS saw a relatively modest 1.2 per cent growth putting its overall share at just over 14 per cent, though Gartner expects that the Iphone 4 will help Apple's mobile OS rise in the rankings.
Symbian is joined on the list of losers by Microsoft's Windows Mobile, which has seen its market share plummet from 9.3 per cent to just 5 per cent. HP's WebOS doesn't even figure in Gartner's figures.
Gartner's figures lack any major surprises, merely confirming that Nokia's fortunes are headed south, Android has become the force that many had predicted all along and Windows Mobile is as popular as the tax man. The report that device prices have declined overall should come as a surprise to those who only buy their mobile phones from the cappuccino company. µ