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2011 Global Handset Shipments to Exceed 300 Million Units in Every Quarter: Strategy Analytics

May 02, 2011

Worldwide mobile handset shipments grew 17 percent annually to reach 350 million units in the first quarter of 2011, according to Strategy Analytics. The growth is fuelled by increase in the number of smartphones in mature markets and popular multi-SIM models in emerging markets.

2011 will be the first year ever when every quarter will exceed 300 million units, Strategy Analytics said in its latest research report.

Handset and PC manufacturer Apple captured fourth place in the global handset shipments, rising from the sixth position a year earlier and leapfrogging Chinese competitor ZTE, the report said.

“Global handset shipments grew 17 percent annually to reach 350 million units in Q1 2011. Apple was a star performer during the quarter, as it shipped a record 18.6 million handsets, captured fourth place in global shipments and overtook rival ZTE,” said Alex Spektor, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, in a statement.

Samsung shipped 68.9 million handsets worldwide during the first quarter of 2011, growing at a sluggish 7 percent from 64.3 million units a year earlier. Its global handset market share dipped from 22 percent to 20 percent over the past year. The decline is market share is due to rising competition in 2G and 3G touchphone markets.

“It was a mixed quarter for the world's major handset vendors. Some brands outperformed, such as Apple and ZTE, while others underperformed, such as LG and Nokia. LG lost ground due to sluggish feature phone volumes, while Nokia continued to struggle in 3G smartphones and the important United States market,” said Neil Mawston, director at Strategy Analytics.

Earlier, Strategy Analytics said that global handset shipments grew 16 percent annually to reach 400 million units in the fourth quarter of 2010. Apple again outgrew its major rivals, while Nokia and LG slipped back due to tougher competition.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for unified communications. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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