Growth in the global smartphon
"The current economic climate is negatively impacting sales of higher end devices," said Roberta Cozza, principal analyst at Gartner. "Going forward, we should expect the smartphone device market to continue to grow but at a slower pace. Although leading mobile operators are subsidising more smartphones, to reach lower prices they tie the device to two year contracts with monthly data plan rates which remain too expensive for the mainstream user."
Some 36.5 million smartphones, or handsets with computer-like features such as email, were sold globally in the July-September quarter, Gartner said in a statement.
All vendors are after a bigger slice of the smartphone market, which is set to continue growing next year, but at an even slower rate than in the last quarter, while the wider handset market has a gloomy outlook, Gartner said.
Nokia maintained its No. 1 position with 42.4 per cent market share in the third quarter of 2008, but for the first time it recorded a decline in sales of 3 per cent year-on-year.
Sales of Research In Motion?s BlackBerry smartphones increased 81.7 per cent in the third quarter of 2008. RIM continued to expand its presence within the consumer segment and refreshed its portfolio with new models and form factors. RIM sales will receive a boost from its new products in the fourth quarter. Analysts said the Storm is RIM?s most important product launch to date and has the potential to be a major product for the company.
Apple regained its No. 3 position in the global smartphone market and improved its market share to 12.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2008. Apple?s shipments into the channel during the third quarter of 2008 approached 7 million units. However, Apple built up around 2 million units of inventory and Gartner?s sales unit estimate reflects this. Apple?s sales increased more than four times compared to the same period in 2007 as a result of wider geographical availability, new business model and lower pricing.