Research firm Gartner has come out with its quarterly estimates of worldwide mobile phone sales for the third quarter of 2011.
Although global mobile device sales saw an increase of merely 5.6 percent over last year, the growth in smartphone sales was an impressive 42 percent YoY. 26 percent of the total phones sold last quarter were smartphones.
The key figure, however, was Android’s share of the total smartphone sales for the last quarter. More than half (52 percent to be precise) of the smartphones sold in Q3 2011 were Android phones. To put this into perspective, the figure for Android last year was 25.3 percent, almost half.
Apple on the other hand, due to its delayed launch of iPhone 4S, lost market share to Android. iPhones accounted for 15 percent of the total smartphone sales last quarter, as compared to 16.6 percent for the same quarter last year, although the actual iPhone unit sales went up by 4 million devices.
Gartner’s report says:
Apple shipped 17 million iPhones, an annual increase of 21 percent, but down nearly 3 million units from the second quarter of 2011 because of Apple’s new device announcement in October. Gartner believes Apple will bounce back in the fourth quarter because of its strongest ever preorders for the iPhone 4S in the first weekend after its announcement. Markets such as Brazil, Mexico, Russia and China are becoming more important to Apple, representing 16 percent of overall sales and showing that the iPhone has a place in emerging markets, especially now that the 3GS and 4 have received price cuts.
Nokia meanwhile, despite its transition phase, continued to be the worldwide leader in total mobile device sales. iPhone accounted for 3.9 percent of the total mobile devices sold last quarter, down from Tim Cook’s figure of 5 percent back in October.
As we said earlier, next quarter’s numbers would be much more interesting to see with Apple gearing up to compete with all (price) ranges of Android phones. Apple intends to make the iPhone 4S available in 70 countries by the end of the year, and with the upcoming holiday season sales (of all smartphones, not just iPhone) are bound to increase.
But we doubt Apple is too worried as a recent report revealed that they have managed to grab more than half of the industry’s profits.