Global smartphone shipments surge 30 per cent in Q4, says Strategy Analytics

Nokia gains top spot with market share of 39.2 per cent.

Worldwide smartphone shipments grew 30 per cent to reach 53m units in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared to the same period last year, representing the strongest growth since Q3 2008, according to the new research from research firm Strategy Analytics.

Global smartphone shipments reached an all-time high of 173.8m units in 2009, growing 15 per cent from 151.1m during 2008.

Tom Kang, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, said: "This was the strongest period of growth since Q3 2008 and smartphones are leading the handset industry out of recession. Sales are being driven by stronger consumer demand and a stream of attractive new 3G models tempting buyers into retail stores."

According to the research, Nokia registering the strongest smartphone quarter since the first half of 2008, accounting for 39.2 per cent of market share with 20.8m smartphone shipments, representing 38 per cent increase from 15.1m units in the same period last year. RIM shipped 10.7m smartphones, remaining ahead of Apple's 8.7m units during the quarter. It is continuing its expansions into Western Europe and parts of Asia.

For the year 2009, Nokia shipped 67.8m smartphones with a market share of 39 per cent, RIM shipped 34.5m smartphones with 15.5 per cent market share, while Apple accounted for 14.4 per cent of the market share with 25.1m shipments.

Neil Mawston, director of Strategy Analytics, said: "The smartphone market will become ultra competitive in 2010. Samsung and LG have ambitious plans to grow volumes and expand their app stores, while emerging players like Dell and Huawei are strengthening their device portfolios and courting major operators. The smartphone wars will be good news for consumers, but the fierce competition will inevitably place downward pressure on vendors' pricing and margins."