As we head into the bloodbath of 2010.. So the final numbers are out for the 5 biggest handset makers for 2009 and for several smaller players as well. Some manufacturers like RIM (Blackberry) and ZTE report their quarters on 'odd' months ie they do not end their quarter in March/June/October/December, so with them we still have to wait a bit to know for sure, but the big picture is now clear. We know the full numbers for the full year 2009. And there have been changes. (Poor Motorola)
In order of size. Nokia did not suffer a 'Motorola moment' last year and as we've patiently explained at this blog, the market for mobile phones (and smartphones) is not 'fair' and 'open' and does not work with the same rules as say the PC market or the home electronics market. If you want to read the full explanation, hope over here but do pack a lunch, its a long blog story (Smartphone Realism part 2)
ALL HANDSET MAKERS TOP 10
1 - Nokia . . . . . . . 432 Million 38 %
2 - Samsung . . . . 227 Million 20 %
3 - LG . . . . . . . . . . 117 Million 10 %
4 - SonyEricsson . . . 57 Million 5 %
5 - Motorola . . . . . . . 55 Million 5 %
6 - ZTE . . . . . . . . . . 50 Million 4.5%
7 - Kyocera . . . . . . . 45 Million 4 %
8 - RIM . . . . . . . . . 35 Million 3.5%
9 - Sharp . . . . . . . . 29 Million 2.6 %
10 - Apple . . . . . . . . 25 Million 2.2 %
Others . . . . . . . . . . 56 Million 5%
TOTAL . . . . . . . . 1,130 Million (1.13 Billion)
So yes, lets review the year 2009 in mobile phone sales by market size. First we have of course Nokia. During the year many wrote all sorts of dribble about Nokia in trouble. But the big picture is quite clear. Nokia ended the full year selling 432 million mobile phones with a market share of 38%. And of its rivals, Nokia is now as big as the next three biggest handset makers all put together. And while two of its top 5 rivals reported losses in their handset divisions last year, Nokia ended the decade with a perfect record - the only one of the top 5 that reported consistent profits in its handset division every single quarter of the decade. Impressive results. Meanwhile, how did the year end? On a high note - Nokia's fourth quarter market share was 39%.
Then comes second place Samsung. Samsung grew strongly in the year and sold 227 million handsets for a market share of 20%. That reflected a solid growth in market share from 16% in 2008. Samsung also reported consistent profits for the year. And Samsung ended its year with a high where its fourth quarter market share was 21% also one percent better than the average for the year, like Nokia.
In third place we have LG. A year ago LG was neck-to-neck within a percentage point slightly ahead of Motorola and SonyEricsson. Now LG has cleared the two older rivals and stands alone at the 10% market share level selling 118 million handsets. LG also was profitable in its handset unit every quarter but the fourth quarter was not very promising, as LG's market share for the last quarter was the same 10% as it had for the year. Thus LG made gains early in the year but its growth seems to have stalled somewhat toward the end of the year.
Next we have SonyEricsson, which with sales of 57 million handsets for the year has overhauled Motorola and taken fourth place, SonyEricsson has not been profitable for the year. The bad news is that a year ago their market share was better than 8% now it is 5% for the year. SonyEricsson has been going backwards and doing it unprofitably. The worse news is that their market share for the fourth quarter was only 4.5%, so they are still shrinking in market share. But the silver lining is, that once again SonyEricsson is (at least briefly) the fourth biggest handset maker on the planet. At least when measured for the full year. Still its not really good news when the company just ahead of them - number 3 LG - sells twice as many phones, and number two (Samsung) sells four times as many and market leader Nokia sells over 7 times as many phones as SonyEricsson. Still. they are now technically the fourth biggest handset maker and they may perhaps even hold onto that position. But the sounds from China are not good for SE.
Fifth place in annual sales of handsets is (probably) Motorola with 55 million handsets. The reason I say 'probably' is because we do not have final numbers from ZTE, but my modelling suggests the lead Moto had over ZTE for the full year was too much and ZTE will still end up 6th biggest. But we will have to see when ZTE reports. However, the news is all bad for Moto. A year ago they had 8% market share, now they have under 5%. That is bad news. They made losses in the handset division every quarter, which is of course also very bad news. But their fourth quarter was so miserable, their market share had slipped to 3.7%. In the fourth quarter they have definitely fallen behind ZTE and for the quarter were for the first time in the company's history not even in the top 5 biggest handset makers globally. In absolute numbers Motorola lost 45% of their sales in one year, while ZTE grew 30%. I think we can see rather clearly how this will end up in 2010 for the full year.. And while Motorola had its 3.7% market share of handsets sold in the fourth quarter, they have one more indignity heading their way soon - RIM out of Canada had a quarterly market share in the fourth quarter of about 3.5% (again, we don't have RIM final numbers until their next fiscal quarter ends). RIM are so close, within a couple of tenths of a percent, to catch up and pass Motorola. At that point Moto will no longer even be the biggest handset maker of North America. That is likely to happen in the first or second quarter of 2010 by current trends.
Sixth place is ZTE. I am modelling ZTE to have shipped 50 million handsets for the year give or take a million. That gives them 4.5% for the full year 2009. ZTE is benefitting strongly from the enormous growth in the Chinese domestic market where it has gained now a leadership position among the domestic Chinese handset makers. And they have offered often very low cost handsets to the rest of the world. For the fourth quarter ZTE is definitely outselling Motorola and if they have been very successful, they may even have outsold SonyEricsson for the Christmas sales quarter, but I am modelling them to have fallen a little behind SonyEricsson for the quarter.
Kyocera comes in seventh place. Kyocera has been struggling as the CDMA networks are diminishing in scope and relative subscriber base and Kyocera's strong suit is shrinking. They shut down their Chinese factory for example as they no longer had the demand out of China. I have Kyocera at 45 million handsets and 4% global market share.
Eighth place sees RIM (better known for its Blackberry brand) with 35 million handsets sold for the year. That gives them a market share for the full year of 3.1%. RIM has been growing strongly and their fourth quarter will come out at about 3.5% market share (Like ZTE, RIM reports at a later point in time). RIM should be celebrated also as the biggest pure smartphone maker so all of their handsets were smartphones. While that does not mean they were the biggest smartphone maker per se (Nokia is) but RIM leads the pack of those handset makers who do not make traditional basic and 'feature phone' type of phones.
In Ninth place we have Sharp, which primarily focuses on the Japanese domestic market (sells only 20% of its phones outside of Japan) and sold about 29 million phones last year for 2.6% market share.
And in tenth place for the first time passing the impressive two percent market share level annually, is the youngest handset maker, Apple, who sold 25 million iPhones last year for a global market share of 2.2%
Thats our top 10 in handsets and out of the 1.13 billion handsets sold in 2009 (the industry shrunk 5% in total handset sales from 2008), these ten makers account for 95% of all handsets sold on the planet.
1 - Nokia . . . . 68 Million 39%
2 - RIM . . . . . 35 Million 20%
3 - Apple . . . . 25 Milllion 15%
4 - HTC . . . . . 8 Million 5%
5 - Others . . . 35 Million 21%
Total . . . . . . 175 Million
And then what of smartphones? Its really a battle only of 3 players, Nokia the giant challenged by RIM and Apple. For all that hype last year about Google for example, their sales are still modest even among smartphones and such former major players as Windows Mobile and Palm are all but vanishing from the scene. So lets take them by size. I am modelling the year at 175 million total smartphones sold, it may be up or down a million or two when the final numbers are done.
First again we have Nokia. They sold 68 million smartphones in 2009 and end the year with an annual market share of 39%. They are one percentage point shy of being as big as the next three smartphones makers put together. A true giant. And as I keep reminding, Nokia's market share in smartphones is better than their market share in phones overall. And Nokia's fourth quarter? at 40% they ended the year on a strong note.
Then we have the world's second largest smartphone maker, often in the shadow of Apple's big PR blitz, but RIM of Canada with its Blackberry have grown from 16% a year ago to 20% for the full year 2009. They sold about 35 million smartphones for the full year. And the fourth quarter? I am projecting RIM to reach 22% for the Christmas quarter (but their quarterly results won't be out until later in the Spring). It is clear RIM has grown more, it is only not sure how much more.
Third place goes to Apple who grew very strong from 7% of all smartphones sold in 2008 to 15% for the year 2009. Very impressive growth. However, Apple's sales cycle is peculiar due to their strategy of releasing only one phone model per year, and that strategy may now have reached their peak, as their market share from the third (calendar) quarter to the Christmas quarter held steady at 17%. It is certain that Apple's market share will decline in the January-March quarter as it always does as its model range seems outdated compared to rivals and now we may see Apple forced to re-think its one-model-per-year strategy to get more growth. For the full year Apple achieved 15% and for the Christmas quarter they did better at 17%. Now don't be shocked when the January quarter market share 'crashes' for the iPhone - that is the normal pattern for Apple. For the full year they sold 25 million iPhones which is a respectable number and they are very strongly entrenched as the third biggest smartphone maker, far bigger than their fourth place rival HTC - in fact three times as large as HTC.
Yes, in fourth place is Taiwanese HTC (best known now as the manufacturer of Google's Nexus One). HTC sold 8 million smartphones and command a market share of 5%.
The rest of the world is full of very small smartphone makers. Motorola, Samsung, LG each sell in the couple of million range. As do many others like ZTE, Fujitsu, Kyocera, Sharp, Panasonic, Sendo, Huawei, etc. If you want to find Palm, they sold about 3 million smartphones so their market share in nsmartphones was about 2% and in all phones about one quarter of one percent (0.26%).
SMARTPHONE OPERATING SYSTEMS
1 - Symbian . . . . . . . 45%
2 - RIM . . . . . . . . . . . 20%
3 - Apple . . . . . . . . . 15%
4 - Windows Mobile . . 6%
5 - Google Android . . . 4%
Others . . . . . . . . . . . 10%
Finally about the operating systems. Here we do not have enough data yet to give full numbers for the year, but this is my best guess at this stage (in many cases one handset maker offers smartphones on several operating systems, like Samsung which offers smartphones on Symbian, Windows Mobile and Google Android). But the big picture is clear and the rankings are clear. Their exact final market share may still need to be adjusted.
Symbian is the obvious global giant, with about 45% market share. The vast majority of those are Nokia branded smartphones but there are many others who make Symbian phones from SonyEricsson and Samsung to Fujitsu. Also do bear in mind that now it is no longer true that every Nokia smartphone is on Symbian, as Nokia introduced its top end smartphone OS, the Linux based open source Maemo. Maemo has currently far less than one percent market share.
RIM ie Blackberry is the second largest smartphone OS by market share in 2009 with 20%.
Apple's iPhone OS/X has 15% market share. It should be noted that the Apple iPod Touch has the same OS, so from a developer point of view, the actual installed base of iPhone OS devices is larger, and while Apple does not provide the exact breakdown, it is estimated that iPod Touch devices sell about 50% of the level of hte iPhone. It is not appropriate to count non-phones (like iPod Touch) to smartphone market shares, as the device is more like a stand-alone PDA or media player, but one needs to remember that they do exist and form a meaningful number in particular for any applications that are sold.
Windows Mobile totally crashed last year and across a dozen manufacturers achieved a cumulative market share of about 6%. Just four years ago they had more than a quarter of the total market. They are marginally bigger than Android but about to be overtaken.
Google's Android is the most difficult to measure at this stage as so many of the handsets were by smaller makers or added to a mix, but I am projecting Android at 4% of the total year sales. I will be monitoring the reports that may add some detail to especially some of the smaller players in this field. It should be noted that Android the Linux based open source OS is growing very fast with dozens of devices released and many more in the pipeline by many manufacturers.
Palm OS has about 2% of the smartphone market share in sales of new smartphones last year and are becoming totally marginalized, being relevant barely only in the US market.
Bada is the new OS by Samsung but has no devices out yet so its market share is zero.
Then there are the others totalling 8%. This includes mostly various Linux Mobile based smartphone OS's which have a small market share, in particular in Japan.
So there you are, the mobile phone market situation at the start of the new decade, January 2010. We sold 1.13 billion new mobile phones last year and 175 million or 15% of them were smartphones. If you want to quote the numbers all of the above is analysis by TomiAhonen Consulting and the data is from the TomiAhonen Almanac 2010 (to be released shortly), based on company data and public sources.
And if you want to read my preview of the smartphone wars for this year 2010, that essay is at this link: Tomi Ahonen predicts bloodbath in smartphones 2010.
UPDATE Feb 10, 2010 - The TomiAhonen Almanac has now been released, it has 180 pages, 84 charts and tables (13 more than the 2009 edition). The Almanac has a whole chapter dedicated to mobile phones and smartphones plus a new section on Apps Stores. In addition to info like in this blog, the Almanac tells you the installed base of major features and abilities of phones (how many have Bluetooth or a camera or a memory card slot etc) and has the history of the global installed base of smartphone operating systems, etc. The release story with sample stats, first opinions and ordering info at this story TomiAhonen Almanac 2010 Released.