The Apple iPhone 4 was introduced on June 24, 2010, and by smartphone selling standards, that’s a long time for the same model to be on the market. Apple has been releasing new iPhones annually in June or July since the first iPhone premiered in 2007, but the iPhone 5 isn’t expected until September. And yet, smartphone shoppers in San Jose and everywhere else on the planet still seem to be crazy for the gadget.The research firm IDC reports today that global sales of iPhones rose by 141.8 percent in the second quarter of 2011, from the year ago quarter. While that also includes sales of the iPhone 3GS, which is still in production, most of the sales are likely of iPhone 4. That growth rate is more than 10 times the growth rate of sales of all mobile phones, which was 11.3 percent.
IDC took note of the fact that iPhone 4 is more than a year old in its report. “The triple-digit shipment volume growth allowed Apple to more than double its share when compared to the same quarter last year,” IDC noted. The share grew to 5.6 percent in the second quarter, from 2.6 percent in the second quarter of 2010, placing Apple in 4th place among mobile phone manufacturers. If even that 5.6 percent share strikes you as small, note that the sales tracked are of all mobile phones, including smartphones, feature phones and messaging phones. Also, these are global sales; iPhone is hot in North America, Europe and Asia, but Apple still doesn’t have the reach of a global brand like number one Nokia. “Apple’s ability to bring its smartphone momentum to developing economies, where it’s less successful, will help dictate the company’s smartphone fortunes in the future,” IDC stated.
I wrote about an IDC report on smartphone-only sales in June.
Other news nuggets from the IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker report are that the overall growth rate for the second quarter of 11.3 percent, was actually smaller than the growth rate in the first quarter of 16.8 percent and smaller than IDC’s forecast of 13.3 percent growth. IDC attributes the slower growth rate to a 4 percent decline in sales of feature phones, which are being passed over by many buyers in favor of smartphones.
IDC says that in the North American market, demand was driven by smartphone sales, particularly of phones running Google’s Android operating system from handset makers such as Samsung, Motorola, HTC, and LG.
Here are the total sales results for the second quarter and the sales of the top five brands:
Total sales in 2Q2011 were 365.4 million units, up 11.3 percent from 2Q2010.
- Nokia, 88.5 million units, down 20.3 percent from the year ago quarter, for a 24.2 percent share..
- Samsung, 70.2 million units, up 10 percent from the year ago quarter, for a 19.2 percent share.
- LG Electronics, 24.8 million units, down 18.9 percent from the year ago quarter, for a 6.8 percent share.
- Apple, 20.3 million units, up 141.8 percent, for a 5.6 percent share.
- ZTE (based in China), 16.6 million units, up 36 percent, for a 4.5 percent share.