Apple iPhone grabbed record 2.5% share of global handset market in third quarter 2009

“The global handset market should return to growth in the fourth quarter after several quarters of declining shipments, research firm Strategy Analytics said Friday,” Gustav Sandstrom reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“In its latest report on the handset market, Strategy Analytics forecast that global shipments in the final quarter of 2009 will rise 3% from a year earlier to reach 300 million units,” Sandstrom reports.

“In the third quarter, Nokia maintained its market-leading position even as its market share fell to 37%, its lowest level since the first quarter 2007, Strategy Analytics said. The company’s smartphone shipments stagnated in the quarter, with the U.S. remaining a particular weak spot for the Finnish company,” Sandstrom reports. “Samsung’s market share, meanwhile, increased to an all-time high of 21%, helped by the company’s attractive portfolio of touch-screen phones and expanding regional retail presence.”

“Samsung’s Korean rival LG Electronics Inc.’s market share was flat compared with the previous quarter, at 11%,” Sandstrom reports. “Sony Ericsson, a joint venture between Sweden’s Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson and Japan’s Sony Corp., was also unchanged with 5% of the market. U.S-based Motorola Inc.’s market share remained around 5%, slightly below Sony Ericsson’s… Apple Inc., meanwhile, reached a record 2.5% market share helped by strong shipments of its iPhone.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: These market share figures are for all handsets, not just smartphones (of which, Apple currently sells two models: iPhone 3G and 3GS).


  1. 2.5% of ~1200MM handsets is 30MM iPhones annually. At an ASP of $600, that’s $12BB revenue annually. With at least 30% margin, that’s $3.6BB profit.

    I think those numbers show that you don’t have to have a large share to be successful in a market. In fact your margins are always going to be lower with larger market share because you are selling to a broader customers base with a range of products with varying margin rates.

    Apple did the same with the iPod.
    1. Start with a single model
    2. Evolve it over time.
    3. Identify parts of the market that new products can be successful.
    4. Increase sales volume to command better component pricing. 5. Finally take over the market with a broad product range with a reasonable overall profit margin.
    6. Evolve the product further to keep ahead of the competition.

    Apple are at 2 for the iPhone and are beginning to work on 3 with the lower cost iPhone. 2.5% share this year and maybe 5% by the end of 2010.
    The Macs are at 4 now. The ASP is slowly dropping and forcing the high volume market to drop their prices to zero margin to keep their share. Macs at ~ 10% share in the US and 5% in the ROW. Hopefully they will add 2-5% next year.

  2. “Share” is such an interesting, arguable, concept. Apple has 2.5% of the total handset market. But they are not competing in the majority of the market! Just as they are not competing in the sub-$500 PC market.
    According to the link provided to Digital Daily (above) that 2.5% of the market comes to 8% of the revenue and close to a third of the profit! I’m sure that if the numbers were trimmed to include only phones costing over $100, Apple’s “share of the market” would be higher, it’s “share of the revenue” would be somewhat lower, and its “share of the profit” would reach maybe 50% of the total. It is that “profit” that allows Apple to expand their share of the market, the revenue, and the profit.
    And everyone else is chasing THEM, still wondering WTF happened. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”LOL” style=”border:0;” />

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