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May 02, 2011

Smartphones Led Dramatic Growth of Worldwide Mobile Phone Market -IDC Found

According to a recent International Data Corporation (IDC (News - Alert)) study, the worldwide mobile phone market grew 19.8 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2011. According to IDC, it is the smartphone segment of the market that has driven this exponential growth. 371.8 million units were shipped by various vendors in 1Q11 compared to 310.5 million units in the first quarter of 2010, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Mobile Phone (News - Alert) Tracker.

Due to this huge growth of smartphones, feature phones took a backseat, though feature phones still represent the majority of mobile phone shipment. Even quick-messaging devices (phones with a QWERTY keyboard), which have been very popular within the feature phone market, appear to be losing its appeal with the invasion of market by smartphones. However,  IDC does not think that feature phones will disappear from the  market altogether so soon, as there is still strong demand for them across the globe.

The report found the emerging markets were the ones to particularly benefit from this growth. The research firm maintained that smartphone growth worldwide, particularly in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Middle East and Africa (MEA), and Latin America, helped lift the overall market to this dramatic first-quarter high.

With smartphones becoming increasingly affordable, market is expanding among wider variety of consumers. This fueled growth in smartphone market. This trend is encouraging smartphone-specific vendors, like HTC (News - Alert) to expand its sales at a steady pace.

“Several notable vendors, including feature phone makers, outpaced the overall market, which contributed to share losses of some top suppliers. The growth of companies outside the top 5 vendors – vendors in the ‘Others’ category, such as Micromax, TCL-Alcatel, Huawei (News - Alert), and Research In Motion – shows that the overall market is still very much ripe for share gains,” senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker Kevin Restivo, explained.

The report concluded in the upcoming days, almost all of the worldwide mobile phone market's growth will be driven by smartphones.  This will make feature phone makers either smartphone- dependent or they will require to consolidate that part of the market, predicted the IDC analysts.

IDC has recently released its second annual ICT Sustainability Index, which ranks the ability of the G20 nations to reduce their CO2 emissions through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

Madhubanti Rudra is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell


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