Smartphones were the main driver to the growth of cell phones sales in 2010
Cell phones world sales increased 17% in 2010, recovering from the negative growth (-2.8%) registered in 2009, global financial crisis year.
Smartphones sales were responsible for most of the growth. They increased 69% in 2010, while the sales of other cell phones grew 7.9%. 22% of the cell phones sold in 2010 were smartphones (34% in 4Q10).
In Brazil, Teleco estimates that cell phones sales increased 12.4% in 2010. The production remained stable due to the fall of 20.3% in exportations. Importations jumped 75.8%, promoted by smartphones sales.
Cell phone supplier board presented significative changes over the last five years.
Nokia kept the leadership but Motorola and Sony Ericsson, which occupied the 2nd and 4th position respectively in 2007, fell to 8th and 7th positions in 2010. Samsung presented an expressive growth in the period consolidating itself in the 2nd position. In 2010, ZTE showed growth of 94% in sales and may get close to LG (in the 3rd position in 2010).
The positions of these suppliers change if we consider only smartphones sales.
Nokia kept the leadership in smartphones sales in 2010, but it's being threatened. Its market share dropped from 38% in 4Q09 to 30% in 4Q10.
Nokia doesn't penetrate in the United States, where RIM (Blackberry) and Apple rule, and didn't get to implement a solid strategy for the evolution of the operational systems used by its smartphones.
In 4Q10, the sales of smartphones with Android surpassed the sales of the devices with Symbiam, operational system used by Nokia in its smartphones.
Nokia plans to continue to use Symbiam in those smartphones with lower computational capacity and use Meego, operational system based in Linux developed in partnership with Intel, in its smartphones with higher capacity. This strategy can be reviewed in face of competitors' advances and drive Nokia to the adoption of Microsoft's Windows Mobile in opposition to Android, Apple and RIM.
The importance of smartphone market for Nokia is clear when we observe that in 4Q10 company's revenue including smartphones (€ 4.4 billion) was bigger than the revenue with other types of cell phones (€ 4.1 billion).
This scenario is likely to become more complex with the growth of tablets sales which reached 9.7 million units sold in 4Q10, being 7.3 million from Apple (iPad) and 2.1 million from Samsung.
You could ask:
- Will cell phone sales continue to grow in 2011?
- When will smartphones represent more than 50% of the cell phones sales?
- Will Nokia lose the leadership in smartphones sales?
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