Mobile market grows 56% in Q1, Apple challenges RIM’s second top spot

The market research firm IDC published a report today on global smartphone sales, indicating the market grew 56.7-percent in Q1 2010 with 54.7-million units shipped, compared to 34.9-million units shipped in the same period last year.

The smartphone market also grew by a record 38-percent in the final quarter of 2009 year-over-year.

Most notably, Apple was able to double its iPhone sales over the same period last year, as the company introduced the iPhone in emerging high-growth markets such as China.

According to the report, Apple sold 8.8-million iPhone devices, putting the company in the third top spot of global mobile vendors.

Apple is expected to unveil its latest iPhone model sometime this June, with the more redefined OS 4 that will bring many new features including multi-tasking, enhanced e-mail and personal information management, among other key enhancements.

 The popular gadget blog Gizmodo recently published a review of the next-generation iPhone after purchasing the device for $5,000 from someone who allegedly found it in a bar after an Apple engineer who was testing the phone lost it at a pub.

The phone was returned to the company after Apple subsequently made an official request for the phone to be returned to the company.

Motorola recently has experienced a decline in both market share and total revenue due to slumping mobile sales. The company is expected to intensify competition in the mobile space by adopting Google’s popular Android mobile operating system to power future higher-end smartphones. The company is expected to ship 12-million-14-million Android powered phones by the end of 2010.

Motorola sold 2.3-million smartphones in Q1 2010 putting the company in the fifth spot.

The maker of the popular BlackBerry enterprise (and increasingly consumer centric smartphone) device, remained the second top smartphone maker in the world with 10.6-million devices shipped.

RIM continues to face fierce competition as competitors begin to offer communication and messaging solutions that are on par with BlackBerry, at least on a consumer level.

RIM acknowledges this threat and hence announced it would make available the new BlackBerry 6 operating system by this summer that brings a more sleek and intuitive user interface, including new features such as RSS-based social networking and better integration with Google’s popular gmail e-mail service.

The Finnish-based company Nokia remained the top smartphone vendor with 21.5-million units shipped.

Nokia plans to continue to use the Symbian OS that it developed to power future handsets.

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Murad is an engineering graduate from Centennial college in Toronto, Canada. Write to [email protected]
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