99% Smartphone Growth in Western Europe

Shipments of smartphones in Western Europe in the fourth quarter of 2010 increased to 25.6 million units from 12.8 million, 99.4% higher than in 4Q09. Smartphone sales now represent 44% of total mobile shipments. Feature phone shipments declined to 33.1 million units 24.8% down compared with the previous year.

Apple and Research in Motion both saw sales increase 66-67% in the same period, while HTC saw 284% growth due to the explosion in popularity of Android. Android grew 1,580% year-on-year to 7.9 million units from 470 thousand units a year ago! Roughly 31% of the Western European smartphone market (comparable to the US) is now running a form of Android.

IDC who conducted the research predict that due to Nokia’s switch to Windows, more Nokia users may opt to migrate to iOS, Android or RIM rather than Windows as they’ll have to change OS anyway. A fierce battle to win these ex-Symbian customers will erupt in Europe. Like me, they believe that Android will be ‘king of the hill’ in terms of market share. Despite all the good news regarding Android being the fastest ever growing phone OS, Google shares are still <$600 … clearly investors haven’t seen the value in having captive market for Google!

Top Western European Mobile Phone Vendors, Shipments and Market Share, 4Q10 Smartphones (Units in Millions)

Vendor 4Q10 Unit Shipments 4Q10 Market Share 4Q09 Unit Shipments 4Q09 Market Share 4Q10/4Q09 Change
1. Nokia 7.0 27% 5.9 46% 19%
2. Apple 5.2 20% 3.1 24% 66%
3. Research in Motion 3.8 15% 2.3 18% 67%
4. HTC 3.2 13% 0.8 6% 284%
5. Sony Ericsson 2.2 9% 0.1 1% 3,121%
Others 4.2 16% 0.6 5% 561%
Total 25.6 100% 12.8 100% 99%

Source: IDC European Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, February 2010

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