Apple Stays in Top Five Mobile Phone List
The last quarter saw Apple slip from fourth to fifth place in the top five mobile phone companies in the world, despite record shipments. Apple shipped 16.2 million mobile phones in the last quarter, securing a 4 percent market share. This was a boost from the 14 million sales of the third quarter of 2010 which had Apple’s global market share at 4.1 percent.
The International Data Corporation (IDC) in its Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker Report, announced that the global mobile phone market grew by 17.9 percent in the December 2010 quarter. “The mobile phone market has the wind behind its sails,” said Kevin Restivo, an IDC senior research analyst. “Mobile phone users are eager to swap out older devices for ones that handle data as well as voice, which is driving growth and replacement cycles,” He added.
So who bumped off Apple from its fourth spot you might ask? The American company lost its spot to Chinese mobile manufacturer ZTE which saw its 16.8 mobile phone shipments surpass those of Apple by 600 million units. According to the press release of the study, while Apple made most of its profits in North America and Europe with an average price of $625 per unit, the Chinese manufacturer focused on emerging markets in Africa and Latin America, but also on its exponentially growing domestic market.
Although ZTE makes simpler phones with rudimentary features, it’s also making headway with smart phones, such as the Android-based Blade and Racer phones. According to AppleInsider, the lull in Apple’s sales can be explained by supply issues. Chief operating officer Tim Cook, who took over Apple while Steve Jobs was on medical leave, disclosed that the company could have sold more phones if it was able to produce more, especially to the Chinese market where the iPhone4 sold out a mere four months after its release.