Smartphones driving global mobile phone market
The global mobile phone market grew 17.9% in the last quarter of 2010, driven by the increasing use of smartphones.
IDC reported that 401.4 million units were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the 340.5 million units in the same quarter of 2009. The number of mobile phones shipped, on a cumulative worldwide basis, during 2010 amounted to 1.39 billion units compared to the 1.17 billion shipped in 2009, showing an increase of 18.5%.
This is a positive increase after the mobile market declined by 1.6% in 2009 and is the strongest reported growth in the mobile phone market since 2006. The increased use of smartphones is cited as the cause for growth and is set to continue with a 43.7% year-over-year growth predicted for 2011.
Mobile phone suppliers who don’t supply smartphones also benefitted from the growth. ZTE primarily sells low-cost feature phones in emerging markets and came in as fourth top vendor worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2010.