ABI Research estimates that 100 million smartphones were shipped in Q1 2011. That represents a 0.5% reduction over Q4 2010 shipments and a 75% gain over Q1 2010. In comparison the overall handset market is estimated to be 380 million devices, or a 2.5% reduction from Q4 2010 levels.
"Although seasonality is often cited as the cause of the shrinkage, Nokia's 15% sequential decline acted as a drag on Q1's anemic market growth," says senior analyst Michael Morgan. Nokia's smartphone market share dropped to 25% in the first quarter, down from 40% in the first quarter of 2010. While Nokia remains positive about its strategic shift to the Windows Phone 7 platform, ABI Research believes its losses will accelerate through 2011.
Apple has benefited from an extra 2.2 million Verizon iPhones and strong performance during the Asia-Pacific holiday season with a 15% sequential gain in shipments. Samsung smartphones also performed well in Q1 showing 16% sequential gain, which lifted it to 13% of total smartphone shipments. The increased shipments from Samsung and Apple roughly equaled the drop in shipments from Nokia.
HTC delivered solid 7% percent growth and 9.5 million smartphones, while RIM remained essentially flat with 2% sequential growth, and Motorola Mobility shipments experienced a 16% decline. Practice director Kevin Burden observes, "ABI Research believes the factors that muted growth in Q1 are expected to continue through Q2 of 2011 and overall smartphone market growth is not expected to achieve 2010 levels until the second half of the year."
The Android platform was installed in more than 30 million shipped smartphones in Q1, to take first place away from historic platform leader Symbian which was delivered in 25.6 million smartphones over the same period. Apple's strong growth over the quarter moved iOS from 16% market share to almost 19% and a solid third place. According to VP of forecasting Jake Saunders, "Considering the recent trends, iOS could displace Symbian from its new second position by the end of 2011."