Battle For Smart Phone Market Continues
November 2, 2011

Battle For Smart Phone Market Continues

A lull in demand for Apple iPhones has apparently given smart phone maker HTC a push to become the largest smart phone vendor in the United States last quarter, Tim Culpan and Hugo Miller of Bloomberg News report.

HTC saw a 10 percent jump in share from a year earlier giving the Taoyuan, Taiwan-based HTC 24 percent of the world´s largest smart phone market in the third quarter, ahead of Samsung at 21 percent and Apple just behind at 20 percent.

There is some debate however on tech blogs about some of these figures as Apple, according to its most recent earnings press release, only reports the actual number of smartphones sold to customers, while Samsung is reporting units that are merely shipped. These units could be sitting on store shelves and can be returned to the manufacturer if left unsold. 

New devices from Samsung and Apple´s recently released iPhone 4S should gain sales in the US this quarter as HTC forecasts its first shipment decline in almost two years.

HTC created the first Android-based smart phone platform in 2008 and benefits from strong relationships with US carriers by manufacturing different models for each operator.

Director at RBS Global Banking & Markets, Wang Wanli gives insight to the changing market leaders by telling Bloomberg: “Because iPhone 4S wasn´t yet ready during the quarter, there was a window of opportunity for others, and HTC benefited from this. HTC has historically done more customization of handsets, which has made operators more willing to market and sell their devices.”

Research firm Gartner, earlier this year, claimed that over 296 million smartphones shipped worldwide in 2010 and expects that number to jump to 468 million this year. In 2015, Gartner predicts, 1.1 billion smart phones will enter the market, Don Reisinger of CNET reports.

HTC says that in the fourth quarter, it will ship between 12 million and 13 million handsets worldwide. However a challenge is expected in the fourth quarter from Apple´s iPhone 4S, which went on sale at the beginning of October and includes a wider array of US carriers, including Sprint, supplanting AT&T as the previous, exclusive carrier.

It also appears that HTC was able to grab some of the folks defecting from failing RIM, slipping quickly at only 9 percent of current market share, reports Slashgear´s Shane McGlaun. The Blackberry maker suffered more misfortune after being hit by a three-day worldwide outage last month.

The steep slide in BlackBerry´s fortunes makes the Ontario-based RIM´s outlook “certainly bleak,” Canalys analyst Tim Shepherd wrote. “RIM must deliver a competitive high-end 4G smart phone in early 2012.”


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