Framingham (MA) – Shipments of smartphones, also referred to as “converged devices,” continue to increase on a rapid pace. According to a report released by IDC, unit numbers surged by 67.8% in the first quarter of this year.
Shipments of converged devices totaled 18.9 million, up from about 11.3 million in the first quarter of 2005. Even on a sequential basis, unit numbers climbed 7.5% from about 17.4 million devices that were sold in the holiday quarter – which is quite remarkable, as most market segments see a seasonal dip in shipments in the first calendar quarter.
IDC does not see any slowdown in this market in the near future. “The worldwide market has broadened in terms of the number of vendors who have entered into this space, and deepened as far as the kinds of devices coming out for consumers, enterprise users, and fans of multimedia,” said Ramon Llamas, research analyst at IDC. The lure of new products combined with heightened competition among the vendors, should continue to drive the smartphone market to new heights.”
All top-5 vendors were able to capitalize on the smartphone boom and posted substantial gains in shipment numbers. Nokia leads the pack with a 43.2% market share and 8.16 million devices shipped (+49.9% compared to Q1 2005.) Panasonic and NEC follow, with 1.89 and 1.79 million devices and growth of 65.1% and 57.0%, respectively. Research in Motion’s Blackberrys came in fourth with “only” 1.45 million units shipped. However, RIM posted the strongest growth with an 84.7% increase in shipments: The company sold only 780,000 Blackberrys in Q1 of 2005.
Sharp rounds out the top-5 with 1.07 million smartphones shipped. Not bad, if we consider that the company entered the smartphone field not quite one year ago.