Worldwide shipments of mobile phones up 13.8% in first quarter

Demand for Blackberry and iPhone models continues to rise.

Apple and Research In Motion (RIM), the makers of the Blackberry device, registered 130.7% and 34.6%, respectively, year-on-year growth.

Worldwide cell phone shipments for the first quarter of 2010 have increased by 13.8% compared to the same period in 2009, according to a new research by market researchers iSuppli.

The research, however, indicated that the shipments declined by 13.9% to 288.1 million units in the first quarter as compared to 334.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2009.

According to the research, RIM achieved the best results of the Top 10 cell phone brands in the first quarter, with its shipments rising by 364,000 units or 3.6% compared to the fourth quarter of 2009.

Apple in the first quarter shipped 8.8 million mobile handsets (iPhone), giving it a 3.04% share of global shipments. Its shipments rose by 0.2% from 8.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, achieving the second-largest sequential increase in shipments among the Top 10 brands.

RIM and Apple were the only smart phone brands among the Top 10 to achieve sequential quarterly growth, whereas Motorola in the first quarter posted a 29.2% decline in shipments to 8.5 million units, down from 12 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. This caused the company's rank to slide two positions to eighth place, falling behind both Apple and Chinese handset OEM ZTE.

The research report revealed that Nokia remained in the top position, capturing 37.4% of the global market with 15.7% year-over-year growth, while Samsung claimed its second spot with 22.3% of the market share and 40.4% year-over-year growth and LG came in third with total of 27.1 million shipments in the quarter.

The report also said that TCL-Alcatel with 1.8% market share experienced a massive 160.7% growth year-on-year, while Huawei suffered a decline of 8.3% capturing 2.1% of the market share.

Tina Teng, senior analyst of wireless communications at iSuppli, said: "Smart phones represent the hottest segment of the cell phone market, with unit shipment growth of 35.5% expected in 2010, compared to 11.3% for the overall mobile handset business.

"Because of this, companies that are exclusively focused on this area, like RIM and Apple, have managed to move up to near the top-tier of the global cell phone business."