European smartphone sales up 99.4 per cent

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IDC figures show 25.6 million devices were shipped in Q4 2010 with Android the clear market leader, increasing sales figures by 1,508 year- on- year

Shipments of smartphones in Western Europe grew by an enormous 99.4 percent in Q4 2010 compared to same period in 2009 new figures from market intelligence firm IDC reveal.

IDC said 25.6 million smartphones were shipped throughout the region in the quarter pushing the total mobile phone market to 58.7 million units.

Android was the clear winner in the quarter – with total sales increasing 1,508 per cent to 7.9 million units making it the market leader in the Western Europe thanks to strong HTC, Sony Ericsson and Samsung handset sales.

Apple’s iPhone also saw an increase in sales (66 per cent) due to the fact more operators were able to stock the iPhone 4 than were ever able to stock its predecessor in 2009.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform also increased its total sales increasing 18 per cent year-on-year.

But with the rise of the smartphone, traditional ‘feature phones’ saw sales slip falling 24.8 per cent to 33.1 million units in the quarter.

This was ultimately bad news for Nokia which – although still holding 33 per cent of the market saw a decline of 11 per cent in total shipments for the quarter.

IDC said the figures showed a shift in the smartphone market and predicted a “fierce” fight between Android and Apple to be the market leader.

IDC European mobile devices research manager Francisco Jeronimo said: “The last quarter of 2010 clearly shows the trends for the coming years in Western Europe.

“The Western European mobile phone market will be dominated by smartphones, and Android will be the king of the hill.

“Android surged from 4 per cent to 31 per cent market share in less than a year to become the market leader in 4Q10 and the fastest growing operating system ever.”

“IDC estimates at that Android will grow at a 37 per cent compound annual growth rate between 2010 and 2015 in Western Europe, overtaking the overall market growth in the period and that of its direct competitor, the iOS from Apple.

“The recent alliance announced between Nokia and Microsoft will create opportunities for other operating systems to exploit the transition period between Symbian and Windows Phone 7.

Android and iOS will fiercely compete to attract all current Symbian users as they will need to migrate to another platform in the future.”

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