IDC: Q1 2011 mobile phone sales hit 371.8 million, top 5 handset vendors lost share to smaller players

The bean counting analysts at IDC have just released their tally up of first quarter mobile phone sales, and they’re impressive, but not if you’re in the list of top 5 handset makers. Just how many phones were sold during the first 3 months of this year? About 371.8 million or roughly 2,870 phones per second. “Several notable vendors, including feature phone makers, outpaced the overall market, which contributed to share losses of some top suppliers,” said Kevin Restivo, Senior Research Analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker. “The growth of companies outside the top 5 vendors – vendors in the ‘Others’ category, such as Micromax, TCL-Alcatel, Huawei, and Research In Motion – shows that the overall market is still very much ripe for share gains.”

This “others” category makes up 36.3% of total devices shipped versus 29.7% in Q1 2010; that’s a growth rate of 46.4% year on year versus total market growth of 19.8%. Nokia, Samsung, LG, Apple, and ZTE share the remaining 63.7% space as the top 5 handset makers. Notice two brands missing in that list? Sony Ericsson and Motorola; how the mighty have fallen. Nokia is on top, but they only command 29.2% of the market, and even though they managed to ship 0.6% more devices in Q1 2011 than they did in Q1 2010, they couldn’t keep up with market growth. Next up is Samsung with 18.8%, which is a bit less than their share of 20.7% last year. LG isn’t doing any better at 6.6% versus 8.7% a year later. Apple has 5% of the phone market to themselves, which is an amazing accomplishment as we come close to the 4 year anniversary of the first iPhone. And finally we have ZTE, who more than doubled the amount of devices they shipped in Q1 2011 vs Q1 2010 and now have 2.8% of the market.

How much more share do you think the “others” are going to take up in the mobile industry? According to IDC the “others” take up 41% of the PC space; think about that for a second.

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