If you thought Apple had a long way to go before bumping up to the next rung of the global-smartphone-vendor ladder, you might be in for a bit of a surprise. New numbers from research firm IDC indicates that the iPhone maker has more than doubled their global smartphone shipments in the first quarter of 2010, compared to the first quarter of 2009. Apple maintains its position as the third-largest smartphone vendor in the world – behind the Finns with their Nokia powerhouse and the Canucks with their BlackBerry-making Research In Motion – with the iPhone accounting for 16.1% of all smartphones shipped in Q1 2010.
The big news here is that Apple has grown their handset shipments explosively. Looking at the all-important year-on-year metric, which compares a company’s performance – usually revenue earnings or number of shipped products – for a particular calendar quarter with the same window of time in the previous year, Apple has increased their iPhone shipments a whopping 131.6% from Q1 2009 to the most recent Q1 2010 period (from 3.8 million to 8.8 million). Compare that with an average 56.7% industry growth in YoY shipments for phones-that-are-smart, and you start to get an idea for the almost mystical pull of the iPhone.
Nokia is still top dog in this market. The Finns managed to grow their shipments by 56.9% YoY, netting them 21.5 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2010 and securing 39.3% of the market. That may not sound as impressive as Apple’s triple-digit growth, but those numbers mean that Nokia merely increased their shipments by the same amount that Apple shipped in total in Q1.
Research In Motion (RIM) takes second place with 10.6 million smartphones shipped in Q1 and 19.4% of the global market. The company saw shipments grow 45.2% YoY. While still impressive, it’s clear that Apple is quickly catching up to the BlackBerry maker in terms of number of smartphones shipped per quarter – all the while, Apple has been making a play for smartphone supremacy with a single smartphone offering (iPhone 3GS), versus RIM’s entire smartphone portfolio.
We’re keen on seeing how this data looks in the first quarter of next year. Apple has the iPhone 4 cooking up in their R&D kitchens, and will no doubt sell the next-generation iPhone with abandon. RIM? Well, they’ve got the BlackBerry Pearl 3G, the BlackBerry Bold 9650, and the BlackBerry 6 OS.