Infographic: Handset Makers Rankings Stable Until 2010 - InformationWeek
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3/22/2011
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Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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Infographic: Handset Makers Rankings Stable Until 2010

When you think of changes in the cell phone landscape over the past decade, you would think the scene in 2001 would be radically different from 2010. From a software perspective, you'd be right. The same goes for hardware. When it comes to original equipment manufacturers though, there was remarkable consistency through 2009. Only in 2010 did things start to change dramatically.

When you think of changes in the cell phone landscape over the past decade, you would think the scene in 2001 would be radically different from 2010. From a software perspective, you'd be right. The same goes for hardware. When it comes to original equipment manufacturers though, there was remarkable consistency through 2009. Only in 2010 did things start to change dramatically.Remember 2001? Palm was king of the PDAs but other dabbling a bit with the VisorPhone expansion module for Handspring devices and half-hearted attempts like the pdQ phone Qualcomm was making, Palm wasn't in the phone business. Even when PalmOS came to the successful Handspring Treo line in 2002, it wasn't picked up by the masses. Microsoft's Pocket PC? Forget about it. People with a "Phone Edition" or a non-touch screen "Smartphone" were as rare as a nun at a Shriner's convention. iOS and Android weren't even figments of anyone's imagination. RIM was on the radar for sure, but still a niche player in the overall market.

The cell phone industry was ruled by dumb phones or phones only beginning to get some smarts. VisionMobile put together an infographic of the phone makers through the last decade that shows the rise of the smartphone and the companies that make them.

In 2001, Nokia ruled the roost. There were 400 million handsets sold that year and Nokia made 140 million of them. Motorola, Siemens, Samsung and Sony Ericsson rounded out the top five but collectively only had about 130 million devices. The remaining devices were made by a lot of smaller manufacturers.

Flash ahead to 2005 and 850 million devices were sold. Nokia was still on top and sold about as many as those placed second through fifth did together. Siemens was gone though and LG had taken its place in the top five.

In 2009, 1.2 billion device were sold. Nokia? Yup. Still on top. Samsung, LG, Motorola and Sony Ericsson still owned the other slots in the top five.

In 2010 though, the world changed. Nokia is still on top with Samsung and LG right behind. Gone are Sony Ericsson, Siemens and Motorola. The age of the smartphone is here and RIM and Apple take their place in the top five phone manufacturers. For Apple this is especially impressive as they only have one phone - the iPhone. You might get a color choice and have a few memory options to pick, but that is it. One phone propelled Apple to be the fifth largest manufacturer in the world.

Care to make any predictions what the next decade will bring?

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