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10/29/2010
05:58 AM
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Cell Phones Defy Downturn

Many IT markets have been caught in the doldrums recently, however, cell phones are riding high. Market research firm International Data Corp. found sales grew by 14.6% in the third quarter of 2010, the fourth consecutive period of double-digit growth.

Many IT markets have been caught in the doldrums recently, however, cell phones are riding high. Market research firm International Data Corp. found sales grew by 14.6% in the third quarter of 2010, the fourth consecutive period of double-digit growth.The market research firm determined that vendors shipped 340.5 million units in the third quarter 2010 compared to 297.1 million units in the third quarter 2009. Nokia continues to be the market leader but its market share fell from 36.5% in 2009 to 32.4% in 2010. The company has done well in delivering low end devices but increases in unit sales have been offset by lower pricing, which has come in response to increased competition. Another problem is the vendor has been lagging in the market's hottest sector, smartphones.

Apple is driving that bus. The company's market share increased by 90.5% and for the first time, the vendor made IDC's top five, coming in at number four. Research in Motion is also doing well in the smartphone space, with a 45.9% increase in market share and the garnering of the number five spot. In the US, Google's Android is making waves with launches of HTC's EVO 4G, Motorola's DROID X and DROID 2, and Samsung's Galaxy S by several carriers.

Volatility seems to loom on the horizon. Samsung, the market's number two vendor, is well positioned. Its Galaxy S smartphone has created a buzz, and its Wave family has been gaining momentum. Conversely, LG Electronics is still searching for a viable smartphone strategy, a hole that new CEO Koo Bon-Joon needs to fill ASAP. Also, SonyEricsson is struggling and fell out of the Top 5 list for the first time since the Tracker was conceived in 2004.

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