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iPhone saves smartphone market

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#1 TheSentinel


    The man in the dark

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 08:25 AM

iPhone saves smartphone market
By Joe Wilcox


"Smartphone volumes during the quarter rose due to record sales of Apple iPhones". That's a helluva statement -- from Gartner's press release on Q4 2011 handset sales today. Emphasis on sales, which is what the analyst firm measures, not shipments into the channel like its competitors. One hundred-forty nine million smartphones sold globally during the quarter, up 47.3 percent year over year, 35.46 million from Apple.

Last month, Apple claimed 37.04 million iPhone sales, which, of course, really means shipments. Apple's stunning fourth quarter raised its ranking. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company passed LG to take third place in overall handset sales for all 2011 -- not just smartphones -- 5 percent to 4.9 percent share, respectively. In smartphones, Apple claimed top spot for the quarter and all 2011, with 23.8 percent and 19 percent market share, respectively. Apple sold 89.7 million handsets last year.

"Western Europe and North America led most of the smartphone growth for Apple during the fourth quarter of 2011", Roberta Cozza, Gartner principal research analyst, says. "In Western Europe the spike in iPhone sales in the fourth quarter saved the overall smartphone market after two consecutive quarters of slow sales".

Gartner expects strong first-quarter iPhone sales, but sequential decline, presuming pent-up demand for iPhone 4S is largely exhausted. Similarly, Gartner predicts that, as measured by smartphone operating system, iPhone will lose share over the next couple of quarters. This follows a Q4 surge that reversed Android's relentless share growth, with a sequential decline.