The second quarter saw 60 million smartphones shipped around the world, a 43 percent jump from a year ago, according to a study released Thursday by research firm Strategy Analytics.
Growth was driven by robust subsidies from carriers, strong competition between high-end vendors, and a rising selection of lower-cost phones running systems like Android and Symbian, according to the study. Overall, smartphones accounted for 19 percent of all handsets shipped during the period.
But the dizzying array of smartphones and the increasingly competitive market could pose a challenge to manufacturers trying to ramp up profits.
"The global smartphone industry is growing volume, but the industry's value is beginning to feel the effects of intensifying competition," Neil Mawston, director at Strategy Analytics and the author of the study, said in a statement. "Dozens of vendors from the telecoms, PC and consumer electronics industries are piling into the market and driving down prices. Even established brands such as Nokia, RIM, and Apple are finding it increasingly hard to raise prices and profits in the face of such fierce competition."
Among the three major smartphone players, Nokia's market share dipped slightly to 40.3 percent compared with 40.7 percent in 2009's second quarter. Second-place Research in Motion saw its slice of the market fall to 18.8 percent from 19.3 percent a year-ago. And third-place Apple watched its share grow to 14.1 percent from 12.5 percent in last year's quarter.… Read more