Global handset sales grew 16.5% year-on-year in the second quarter, however vendors may not enjoy the benefits of the growth due to high inventory levels carried over from the first quarter.
Research firm Gartner states global mobile device sales hit 428.7 million units in the quarter, but notes that sell in – the number of units vendors ship into sales channels – fell 4.4% quarter-on-quarter to 421.1 million units as the market accrued stocks in 1Q to offset expected component shortages following natural disasters in Japan in March.
Despite its recent woes in the smartphone sector, Nokia remained the number one vendor during the second quarter with sales of 97.8 million devices. While the figure was enough to give the Finnish vendor a 22.8% share of the market, the figures are well down on the 111.4 million units and 30.3% share of 2Q10.
However, Nokia’s Q2 sales were almost 30 million higher than the 69.8 million devices sold by second-placed Samsung. LG ranked third on sales of 24.4 million, followed by Apple (19.6 million), and ZTE (13 million).
Smartphones accounted for a quarter of total sales during 2Q11 as shipments grew 74% year-on-year. Roberta Cozza, principal analyst at Gartner, said the growth came “at the expense of feature phones,” with Android devices, in particular, robbing the lower-tier segments of sales in mature markets.
Cozza notes the operating system’s success is, in part, “due to carrier’s and manufacturer’s promotions,” but notes that a sequential slowdown in overall smartphone sales in Western Europe hints at fatigue in the market.