The global smartphone market grew 50 percent during the Q2 2010 compared to figures from the same period a year ago, ABI Research reported on Oct. 26. Driven by strong sales from Apple, HTC and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM), smartphones constituted 19 percent of all mobile handsets shipped during the quarter, representing a 12 percent jump from Q1 2010.
Apple, with its iPhones running iOS, shipped 8.4 million iPhones during the second quarter (approximately 3 million of which were the iPhone 4), resulting in a quarter-on-quarter growth of 68 percent, according to ABI. Taiwan-based HTC, which has filled its mobile portfolio with Android-running smartphones, also saw shipments grow during 2Q 2010, from 3.3 million to 5.3 million handsets. And RIM, which launched its newest OS, BlackBerry 6 -- not to mention the QNX-based BlackBerry Tablet OS, on its PlayBook tablet -- saw shipments grow from 10.5 to 11.2 million, a figure expected to climb more significantly in future quarters.
Additionally, Hewlett-Packard, which this summer purchased Palm, will soon begin offering smartphones running the Palm-created WebOS, while Intel and Nokia are working on handsets running MeeGo -- an OS created from a mix of Nokia's Maemo and Intel's Moblin. Finally, Samsung, while investing heavily in Android, has also introduced Wave and Wave II smartphones, which run its proprietary Bada open-source platform.
The low price of handsets, which are now often heavily subsidized by wireless carriers, is helping to drive sales, according to ABI senior analyst Michael Morgan. The question being asked now, he said, is whether such a market structure can be sustained.
The answer? "Most observers say no," Morgan continued. "It needs to boil down to three or perhaps four key operating systems."
For more, read the eWeek article Apple, HTC, BlackBerry Driving Smartphone Market Growth, Says ABI.