IDC’s latest report on global mobile phone shipments reports the current state of the mobile market. As of Q3 2011, Chinese company ZTE is now at the No. 4 spot in global mobile phone shipments, overtaking Apple in the process. Meanwhile, Nokia, Samsung and LG continue to hold on to their No. 1, 2 and 3 spots respectively.
Compared to Q3 last year, ZTE saw a growth of 57.9% in mobile phone shipment in Q3 this year. ZTE is not the only one experiencing growth.
At 23.0%, Samsung saw the second highest growth compared to 2010 while Apple saw a 21.3% growth. Last week, it was reported that Samsung beat Apple as the world’s top smartphone maker with more than 40 percent shipment growth.
Nokia and LG, however, weren’t so lucky. Nokia’s market share went down by 3.4% whereas LG saw a massive 25.7% drop in shipment.
Top Five Mobile Phone Vendors
Nokia reversed a global market share on a sequential basis last quarter thanks to stronger feature phone sales in key regions as well as the clearing of inventory backlogs in traditional strongholds, namely China and Europe, which led to a sharp year-over-year shipment and share decline last quarter. Nokia’s smartphone fortunes could improve in quarters to come now that it has introduced the Nokia Lumia devices, powered by Windows Phone 7, to markets where its brand is still relatively strong and in areas where the company has lost share over the past two years.
Samsung registered double-digit growth compared to the third quarter a year ago and also outpaced the market. The company’s growth was again driven by smartphone sales, such as the Galaxy S2. Smartphone sales were notably higher in emerging markets including China. Samsung outpaced the feature phone market as well in terms of growth. The vendor didn’t close the market share gap on Nokia for the top mobile phone position, but it remains within striking distance.
LG Electronics maintained its position as the number 3 mobile vendor worldwide for the twelfth quarter in a row, but continued soft demand for both its feature phones and smartphones led to volume levels not seen since 2Q 2007. With only a few new devices launched and an aging feature phone portfolio, LG’s warnings of lower year-over-year shipment volume appears to have come to fruition. By the end of the year, LG’s grasp on the number 3 position may be loosened as Apple’s aggressive smartphone campaign takes hold in 4Q 2011.
ZTE jumped into the number 4 position thanks to momentum carried into 3Q 2011 with key devices shipping into strategic regions. In China, ZTE has nearly doubled its smartphone volumes from the previous quarter, while within North America, ZTE’s entry-level voice-centric phones at AT&T have gained greater depth. At the same time, ZTE’s target of 12 million smartphone shipments worldwide in 2011 became more of a reality with the introduction of two new Android-powered smartphones for the North American market.
Apple gained share and posted the third-highest growth rate of any Top 5 vendor but dropped to the number 5 position globally. Global iPhone shipments declined sequentially during the same quarter that company founder Steve Jobs handed the CEO reins to Tim Cook. The decline, not coincidentally, happened as Apple readied itself for the 4S launch, which many waited for. Apple’s ability to upgrade 3GS users to the 4S, for example, and make continued inroads into developing economies, where it has been less successful, will help dictate the company’s smartphone fortunes in the future.
The entire mobile phone market grew by 12.8%, exceeding IDC’s forecast of 9.3%.