Gartner has just released the results of a study of third quarter mobile phone shipments. Compared to the IDC report last month, Gartner had a little rosier outlook for the quarter. The 308.9 million units shipped resulted in a 0.1% increase over 3Q08. In contrast, the IDC report had found that shipments for the third quarter were down 6% from a year earlier. Regardless of how each looked at the quarter, both seem to agree that the holiday season will drive a strong fourth quarter. Gartner even believes that the fourth quarter will help keep 2009 sales flat over 2008.
Gartner’s report had Nokia well out in front with a 36.7% market share which was down just 1.5% from a year ago.Motorola and Sony Ericsson saw their market share cut in half while LG and Samsung showed some respectable gains.
The category showing double-digit gains for the quarter was smartphones whose shipments were up 13% compared to 2008. Nokia remained on top for smartphone sales with a 39.3% market share followed by Research In Motion (RIM)and Apple. Apple is just 3.7% away from overtaken the BlackBerry maker in the runner-up slot.
|Research in Motion|
It’s going to be a battle to the finish for Research in Motion and Apple as we move into the holiday season. Unfortunately, Apple remains limited due to their exclusivity agreements globally. When exclusivity agreements begin to end, some next year, I predict we will see RIM move into the #3 slot for market share while Apple takes the #2 slot and continues to nip at Nokia’s lead. The second half of next year will indeed be interesting to watch should Verizon Wireless offer an iPhone as it has been rumored.
Read more at the Gartner press release.