Shipments of smartphones in the first quarter of 2010 increased 56.7 percent to 54.7 million units, up from 34.9 million units in the first quarter of 2009, according to a report from IDC.
Smartphone shipment growth was more than twice that of the overall mobile phone market, which grew 21.7 percent year-over-year in the quarter. Smartphones, which IDC also calls “converged mobile devices,” accounted for 18.8 percent of all mobile phones shipped in the quarter.
Some of the impressive year-to-year growth was due to the fact that smartphone sales plunged in the first quarter of 2009 in the midst of the deep recession. But it also demonstrated what IDC called “the tremendous potential of the market.”
The report quoted senior research analyst Ramon Llama as saying that “2010 looks to be another year of large-scale consumer adoption of converged mobile devices.” He said updates for BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Mobile software would help spur demand.
IDC said Nokia retained its position as the leading smartphone vendor worldwide with a 39.3 percent share (21.5 million units) of the converged mobile device market. Research In Motion was second with a 19.4 percent share, followed by Apple (16.1 percent), HTC (4.8 percent), and Motorola (4.2 percent).
Apple more than doubled its shipments of iPhones year-over-year to 8.8 million units from 3.8 million units, up in the first quarter of 2009. Debut of the expected iPhone 4G is likely to further boost those sales.