We are in the season for the quarterly results for Q4 of 2010 for the Bloodbath year in smartphones. Today we have the data to know Q4 unit sales number for HTC, Samsung, LG and Huawei. It also means that for these 4 we can also give their full-year numbers. And I can give a rough estimate of the market shares for both (which we won't know until in February when we know the full total market sizes).
So first, I have upgraded my target based on these 4 makers reporting far bigger growth from Q3 to Q4 than what I had expected. It seems that the smartphones industry has had a magnificent Christmas season. I have thus upped my estimate for Q4 smartphone total shipments from 100 million to 105 million (this is the number I use to estimate market shares until we know) and the corresponding full year number at 310 million.
So first, HTC of Taiwan. They were the 4th biggest smartphone maker of 2009 and had 5% market share then. For Q4 they have sold 10.2 million smartphones which is roughly 10% market share right now. They are just slightly behind Samsung for Q4 sales. For the full year HTC held its fourth place, selling 25 million smartphones and that would be roughly 8% market share.
How good was my forecast for the year? I said HTC would end up with about 6% market share. So I was off by 2 market share points. Not bad..
Then the world's second-biggest mobile phone manufacturer, Samsung of South Korea. Their Q4 unit sales were 10.5 million units and roughly 10% market share but holding to that 4th place they took from HTC in Q3. For the full year Samsung was 1 million smartphones short of where HTC is, finished the year at 24 million and fifth place. Still, a very strong aggressive growth in market share which was 4% in 2009 and is about 8% for the year 2010.
How was my forecast in January? I said 10%, Samsung is doing about 8% so again, was off by about 2 market share points. Not bad.. These two forecasts help compensate for the error I made with Blackberry haha.. I am particularly proud of the Samsung forecast, remember they doubled their market share which is a very impressive performance in the year of the Bloodbath and I got pretty close to that number..
South Korean rival LG, the world's 3rd biggest handset maker, was looking like it had died in in smartphones for Q3 but has come back with a vengeance and sold 4.7 million smartphones in Q4 for about 5% market share. That puts them right in the range of where Motorola should be, so we'll see an interesting photo-finish on who gets to 6th place and who finishes 7th for the quarter. Still, a very strong move jumping at least 3 places ahead of Sharp, Fujitsu and SonyEricsson from 10th place to at least 7th for LG in the quarter. They have made the best of the Christmas season. For the full year LG sold only 7 million smartphones which is worth about 2% market share for the year and the race is between LG and SonyEricsson for who gets 7th place. Motorola is safe to hold onto 6th place in 2010.
We also had a bit of a surprise announcement from Huawei, which didn't give the quarterly number but said for the full year 2010 they sold 5 million smartphones. That may not seem like much, but it means they are knocking on the door for 10th place with 2% market share for the full year.
FINAL 2010 MARKET RANKINGS
We also know now where 4 of the Top 6 smartphone manufacturers will finish in rankings, while we don't know the final numbers for Nokia, Apple and Motorola. The uncertainty is between Apple and RIM who fight for 2nd place. So this is what we know for full year 2010 rankings in smartphone unit sales:
1 - Nokia
2 - RIM or Apple
3 - RIM or Apple
4 - HTC
5 - Samsung
6 - Motorola
That is the update for today, will be monitoring the races and we'll see how it goes as more numbers come in.
For those who want to see deeper details of the handset market, smartphones, market shares, installed bases, features, operating systems, regional breakdowns, average sales prices etc. please take a look at the TomiAhonen Phone Book 2010 that I released last week. It has over 90 tables and charts, and costs only 9.99 Euros for immediate ebook download.