For the first time smartphones over sold PCs (including tablets), market analysis firm Canalys is reporting. Vendors shipped 158.5 million smartphones in the fourth quarter, up 57% during the same quarter one year earlier. Smartphone shipments for 2011 came upto a total of 487.7 million units, up two-thirds over 2010. In comparison, shipments for PCs reached 414.6 million units in 2011.
“ Smart phone shipments overtaking those of client PCs should be seen as a significant milestone. In the space of a few years, smart phones have grown from being a niche product segment at the high-end of the mobile phone market to becoming a truly mass-market proposition. The greater availability of smart phones at lower price points has helped tremendously, but there has been a driving trend of increasing consumer appetite for Internet browsing, content consumption and engaging with apps and services on mobile devices.”
- Chris Jones, VP and Principal Analyst, Canalys
Canalys thinks smartphone growth will slow in 2012 as vendors “exercise greater cost control and discipline” and emphasize profits: “Notably, even vendors who have focused on conquering the low-end of the market with aggressive pricing, such as Huawei, ZTE and LG, are now placing greater attention on the higher tiers. Flagship models aimed at raising selling prices and improving margins will feature more heavily this year.”