Apple Joins Top Five Mobile Phone Vendors

Apple Joins Top Five Mobile Phone Vendors as Worldwide Market Grows Nearly 15% in Third Quarter, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Oct 28, 2010 — The worldwide mobile phone market grew 14.6% in the third quarter of 2010 (3Q10), the fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, driven in part by the fast-growing converged mobile device category. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped 340.5 million units in 3Q10 compared to 297.1 million units in the third quarter of 2009.

The growing popularity of converged mobile devices, or smartphones, with consumers and businesspersons is evidenced by the appearance of a second smartphone-only vendor in the top 5 ranking. Apple moved into the number 4 position worldwide in 3Q10, joining Research In Motion (RIM) as one of the world’s largest mobile phone suppliers. RIM has spent three quarters on IDC’s leaderboard. Apple and RIM also posted the highest-growth rates among the top 5 vendors last quarter.

“The entrance of Apple to the top 5 vendor ranking underscores the increased importance of smartphones to the overall market. Moreover, the mobile phone makers that are delivering popular smartphone models are among the fastest growing firms,” said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker. “Vendors that aren’t developing a strong portfolio of smartphones will be challenged to maintain and grow market share in the future.”

Apple, RIM, and the vendors producing Android-based smartphones have put noticeable pressure on Nokia, the overall market leader. “Nokia still leads all vendors by a significant margin for converged mobile devices and mobile phones as a whole,” said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team. “However, Nokia’s grip on the traditional mobile phone market has been somewhat loosened, as multiple Chinese vendors have gained ground, especially within emerging markets. To bolster its overall competitiveness, Nokia has been focused on improving its smartphone offerings.”

Market Outlook

IDC believes the worldwide mobile phone market will be driven largely by smartphone growth to the end of 2014. “The smartphone is becoming the focal point of the personal communications experience,” noted Restivo. “As a result, new market growth will be increasingly generated by smartphones. This year, we are expecting the smartphone sub-market to grow 55% year over year.”

Regional Analysis

Competitive forces emerged in the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) region last quarter to the detriment of market leader Nokia. In emerging markets, brands such as Micromax, Nexian, and i-Mobile chipped away at Nokia’s market share. Android-powered smartphones also gained momentum across the region at the expense of Nokia. Samsung gained ground in South Korea while Huawei, Lenovo, and ZTE launched devices in several markets. In Japan, mobile phone market growth was driven primarily by domestic vendors Sharp, Panasonic, Fujitsu, and NEC. The Western European mobile phone market’s growth was largely attributable to smartphones, which grew thanks to the iPhone 4 and Android-powered devices from HTC and Samsung. Demand was also stoked by large operator device subsidies that helped to keep consumer interest in smartphones high. At the same time, the CEMA handset market grew slowly in 3Q10. As a result, smartphone volumes are growing substantially but still only comprise one-fifth of total shipments for the regions combined. This is modest compared to more economically-developed regions. The United States mobile phone market was characterized by growth in the smartphone market. Grabbing headlines were the Apple iPhone 4, RIM’s BlackBerry Torch 9800, the HTC EVO 4G, and Motorola’s new DROID X and DROID 2, all of which were launched last quarter. Not to be overlooked was Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphone lineup, which were launched at all of the major carriers last quarter. Traditional mobile phones, meanwhile, fought back with smartphone-like functionality, but saw their overall share of the market continue to decline. In Canada, Android-powered handsets gained momentum as Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson and Motorola shipped new models. Huawei and ASUS, low-cost providers of Android devices, entered the market. RIM’s BlackBerry Torch was announced while the iPhone 4 was introduced to great fanfare. Despite continued economic sluggishness in some countries, the Latin American region grew as a result of higher smartphone adoption. Vendors like Alcatel, ZTE, and Huawei have targeted Latin America aggressively with entry-level models in an effort to steal share from Nokia, the overall market leader in the region. These models are lower-cost product offerings designed to meet the needs of basic users. Motorola’s Android-powered devices have also grown quickly in the region due to the popularity of models like the QUENCH, Backflip, and Milestone.

Top Five Mobile Phone Vendors

Nokia maintained the top spot in the overall mobile phone market despite year-over-year unit shipment growth of less than 2% in new chief executive Steven Elop’s first quarter at the helm. The company grew converged mobile device shipments 61% in 3Q10, but average selling prices for the device type dropped to EUR136, compared to EUR190 in the same quarter last year. Nokia attributed the plunge to price pressure from competitors and its stated desire to reach more customers. Nokia hopes the C8 and C7 devices will boost ASPs in future.

Samsung marked a new milestone during the third quarter, pushing through the 70 million unit mark for the first time in the company’s history. In addition, the company more than doubled the number of converged mobile device shipments from the previous quarter. Driving this was the worldwide release of its Galaxy S i9000 converged mobile device, as well as its bada-based Wave model. Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, Samsung appears poised to bring more smartphones to market, with a new Wave 2 awaiting launch and more mass-market devices for emerging markets.

LG Electronics missed its 3Q10 total mobile phone and smartphone shipment growth targets, resulting in an overall double-digit shipment decrease when compared to the same quarter one year ago. LG has yet to make a significant impact in the smartphone category unlike its competitors. Although operating margin returned to the same levels as a year ago, sales and profitability both fell significantly. By the end of the quarter, LG replaced its CEO Nam Yong with Koo Bon-Joon, head of LG’s trading firm, LG International.

Apple leapt ahead of several vendors in 3Q10 including RIM, which it surpassed by 1.7-million units, and Sony Ericsson by 3.7-million units. The company’s record shipment performance can be attributed to the introduction of the iPhone 4 in 17 new countries last quarter. The record performance came despite “Antennagate,” the name used to describe the controversy around alleged iPhone reception problems, in July.

Research In Motion posted a record number of unit shipments in 3Q10. The BlackBerry maker continues to grow in Latin America, for example, due to the success of the Curve 8520 entry-level model, which has helped drive growth in most emerging markets. The vendor’s results were also boosted by the introduction of the higher-cost Torch in the United States, a key market due to the size and intensity of competition.

SonyEricsson, which shipped 10.4 million units in 3Q10, fell off the Top 5 list for the first time since the Tracker was conceived in 2004.

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, October 28, 2010

Note: Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.

For more information about IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or knagamine@idc.com.

Acer Liquid Metal Supports 14.4Mbps HSPA, New Snapdragon Chipset

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The Acer Liquid Metal is the latest generation of Acer smartphones, featuring the best solutions currently available on the mobile market. Designed for all those who live a modern, dynamic, and fully integrated lifestyle, this is the perfect tool to meet the growing need to be connected anytime and anywhere. Thanks to extremely quick web surfing and an incomparable use of multimedia contents, these dreams become reality. When we speak about technological evolution, Acer is always one step ahead thanks to its proven capacity to translate the most sophisticated technological innovations into products that are easy to use. Moulding the most advanced technologies and integrating them into the latest smartphone is the logical consequence. Style and elegance characterise the soft, sinuous, and curvy design for the perfect grip. Liquid Metal is equipped with a rounded 3.6″ display especially studied to grant a truly sensational visualization. The materials selected, like the stainless steel of the battery cover, are solid and resistant and the chrome trims give a sense of high quality for extreme tactile and visual pleasure. As in the entire Acer Liquid series, we find the LED signals on the upper part of the telephone notify the user of missed calls, the need to charge the battery, and new incoming messages clearly.
Liquid Metal steps on the gas, ensuring higher speed in all activities, especially in navigating the web, thanks to the combination of:
– the Qualcomm 7230 800 MHz process for lightning fast navigation
– Android Froyo that responds at a speed 5 times faster than earlier versions
– the new browser that enables you to open Internet pages more quickly, thanks to Flash support and the optimization of the JavaScript engine
– Connectivity that is super fast both at home or while travelling, thanks to the WiFi n[1] and HSDPA 14.4Mbps[2]
– with the multitouch function, resizing web pages, photos, or maps is easier than ever.
Liquid Metal also brings the best multimedia experience and entertainment.
– Record video in HD at 720p (30fps) and watch more high-resolution videos in Xvid format
– Take photos with the 5MP A/F camera enhanced with LED flash, image stabilizer, and facial and smile recognition
– Enjoy the thrilling audio brought by the Dolby Surround technology and customize the sound you hear with the EQ profiles and Dynamic Bass Boost.
Liquid Metal shows its excellence not only in its style and power, but brings delightful user experience by the intuitive interface and software developed by Acer.
– Breeze, the new Acer user interface was developed to manage applications even more easily. Information is visible even when the screen is locked; view the application history and quickly start up your most used appliations; customize your homescreen as you like it and re-arrange the way you access your favourite applications according to your own specific needs
– Acer SocialJogger Application aggregates your Facebook and Twitter feeds, allowing you to surf through the updates with the trackwheel, receive updates directly through the dedicated widget on the homescreen, and comment or share directly from the user-friendly interface.
Liquid Metal is transformed into a true wireless server for all your home devices through DLNA/UPnP technology. All the multimedia content memorized on the smartphone can be shared with your PC, TV or game console. Moreover, it is capable of providing your computer an Internet connection via USB. This is truly useful for travelling by train or when on vacation. The Acer EasyLink PC software is free of charge and even enables a protected Internet connection (https).
Do you want even more? This smartphone of the latest generation can become a WiFi hotspot for all enabled devices, so as to connect them to the Internet via the Liquid Metal 3G connection.
[1] With WiFi n, Liquid Metal is 10 times faster than previous devices
[2] With HSDPA, Liquid Metal is 2 times faster than previous devices
The Liquid Metal will be offered in two colours: silver and brown for a SRRP of £299 inc Vat. The brown will be available first from mid November with the silver arriving in early December.

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