More smartphones than personal computers were sold in the fourth quarter of 2010. Smartphone sales had been expected to overtake PCs some time in 2011and it is Google's Android platform that is responsible for the more rapid increase in smartphone sales.
According to research from IDC, vendors shipped a total of 101 million smartphones during the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the total of 92 millions PCs.
The fourth quarter sales of smartphones (100.9 million unit) showed a 87.2% from the 53.9 million smartphones shipped during the same quarter in 2009. During the full year a total of 302.6 million smartphones were shipped worldwide, up 74.4% from the 173.5 million in 2009.
PC sales, however, showed only a13.6% increase over the full year - from 305 million units to 346 million and in the forth quarter the growth was a mere 2.7%.
Commenting on the fourth quarter smartphone sales, IDC senior analyst Ramon Llamas said:
"Android continues to gain [market share] by leaps and bounds, helping to drive the smartphone market. It has become the cornerstone of multiple vendors' smartphone strategies, and has quickly become a challenger to market leader Symbian."
He also commented on the impact of the entrance two the market of two "refreshed operating systems" Symbian^3 and Windows Phone 7.
"In their first quarter of commercial availability, both Symbian^3 and Windows Phone 7 ramped up quickly, just in time for the holidays. By the end of the quarter, Nokia had shipped five million Symbian^3 units while Windows Phone 7 vendors shipped more than 1.5 million units.
While Nokia remained the leading smartphone vendor it showed the least growth in Quarter 4, 2010. Samsung, with a growth of over 300% over the year almost 440% in the final quarter, took top honors for increased sales, due largely to the popularity of its Galaxy S series smartphones.
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For more information:
IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker
IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker
Google's OS set to dominate
Samsung sells 1 million Galaxy S in the US