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Nokia, Symbian boom as smart phone sales rocket

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Smart phones sales surged around the world during Q2 while the pure-play PDA market continued to contract, market watcher Canalys reported today.

Worldwide shipments of mobile devices jumped 105.4 per cent over Q2 2004 to 12.19m units. Smart phone shipments were up 186 per cent, but PDA shipments were down 14 per cent, Canalys said.

Palm typified the shift. Shipments of the Tungsten and Zire PDAs for which it is best known fell 32 per cent year on year, but that decline was countered by a 200 per cent increase in shipments of its Treo communicators.

Palm was the world's biggest seller of PDAs, with a 31 per cent share. Number two placed HP saw its PDA shipments contract 21 per cent, so this month's launch of its Treo-style iPaq he6500 family clearly comes not a moment too soon.

Once again, Europe proved a strong market for PDAs, with unit shipments up 18 per cent year on year. Here sales are dominated by GPS navigation and route-planning bundles, reflected by strong shipments from the likes of Acer and Mio. HP was still the European PDA market leader.

Palm remains the world's second most successful mobile device vendor in terms of units shipped, but its market share fell, from 18 per cent to 8.7 per cent. It Q2 shipments fell a single percentage point.

Research in Motion (RIM), the number three player, saw its share fall from 8.2 per cent to 7.4 per cent of the market despite an 84 per cent increase in unit shipments year on year.

The big winner was Nokia, which not only retained its market leadership but increased its share from 33.2 per cent in Q2 2004 to 54.9 per cent in Q2 2005 on the back of a 240.3 per cent increase in unit shipments.

Its unit-shipment growth was surpassed only by Motorola and Fujitsu, whose shipments were up 637 per cent and 259.5 per cent, respectively, year on year. Both experienced big market share gains, though their shares remain small: 4.6 per cent and 4.3 per cent, respectively.

Nokia's success helped Symbian extend its leadership of the mobile device OS market, as a 214.8 per cent jump in unit shipments pushed the operating system's share from 41 per cent to 62.8 per cent. That pushed Microsoft's share down, from 22.9 per cent to 15.9 per cent, despite a 42 per cent increase in unit shipments. Shipments of PalmSource-based devices dropped 13.3 per cent, knocking its share down from 22.5 per cent to 9.5 per cent. ®

Related stories

Motorola unveils would-be Blackberry beater
PalmOne regains old handle
HP stops Expansys importing non-Euro PDAs
LG throws PalmSource a lifeline
PalmOne to become Palm again
PalmSource CEO hands in resignation letter
GPS drives Euro PDA shipments
PalmSource sees red as device sales decline

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