It has been a very good year for smart phone manufacturers. For all of 2009, they shipped and sold 174 million units which is 15% higher than the 151 million smartphones sold in 2008. Analysts are saying that this is very impressive considering that the world is still mired in a financial crisis. The smart phone market, unlike the computer industry, managed to defy the odds and set a record year of sales. The 15% increase is still hefty by industry standard. Experts agree that 2010 is going to be another lucrative year because of the release of Verizon Nexus One (released by Google) and the upcoming updates for Windows Mobile and Symbian mobile operating systems.
I am astonished to learn that the Finnish corporation Nokia still managed to remain the number one maker of smartphones with 67.7 million units sold for 2009. It means that Nokia still holds a commanding 39% market share and the world still loves the Nokia brand above other else. Personally, I love the Nokia N900 smartphone model with Maemo Linux OS for its relatively low price and good processing speed. It looks great, too.
Moreover, Research in Motion (RIM) grabbed the second spot with 34.5 million sold representing 20% market share. Media darling Apple took the third spot with 25 million iPhone handsets sold which is equivalent to 14% market share. Taiwanese company HTC is fourth while Korean electronics giant Samsung was fifth. These two Asian companies sold less than 8 million units but still enough to outrank American powerhouse Motorola.
In my opinion, smartphone companies will sell more units if they make it less expensive to acquire like many Nokia phones which include Nokia N97 (sample pic shown right) Nokia Surge and Nokia 5800 Xpressmusic. Less expensive means I want them to stop bundling their smartphones with very expensive 2-year contracts with phone companies. People aren’t stupid, they aren’t going to buy a smartphone for $99 that also carries a two-year plan worth $50 a month. If they do this, expect smartphones to sell in the 300 million range this year.
On the other hand, very low sales figures of Google Nexus One during the early part of 2010 (January) could be a sign that Android phones have to be improved a great deal. The high cost of owning an Android phone could be a factor in the low sales statistics of these newer generation of mobile devices.