Smart phone shipments break records

10.9m mobile devices sold worldwide in Q4

PalmOne's acquisition of Handspring - the legacy of departing CEO Todd Bradley - looks increasingly smart in light of Q4 2004 world mobile device shipments released this week by market watcher Canalys.

While the company's PDA shipments fell six per cent on Q4 2003's total, smart phone shipments were up 154 per cent, well above the industry's average year-on-year growth rate of 51 per cent, and the average increase on the number of smart phone shipments, 101 per cent.

PDA shipments, whether wireless or not, were up five per cent between Q4 2004 and Q4 2003, Canalys said.

Nokia remains the world's market leader, by dint of its massive smart phone shipments - almost 5m in Q4 2004, up from 2.2m in the year-ago quarter. It upped its share year on year and sequentially, to 45.4 per cent.

PalmOne retained its second placing, but lost market share, as did HP, which saw only a modest growth in shipments year on year. PalmOne, meanwhile, might have done better had its new Treo 650 been more readily available. It has yet to ship outside the US. In that country, however, it's the clear number one smart phone vendor.

RIM continued its explosive growth run, to ship almost as many devices as HP did. But it lost share sequentially. Canalys noted that while the handset-styled Blackberry 7100 series - aka 'Charm' - performed well, the majority of RIM shipments were of its more familiar handhelds.

Motorola took fifth place in the chart, displacing Fujitsu, the result of a "good quarter", as Canalys put it. "Shipments of its Windows Mobile and Symbian smart phones were particularly strong in EMEA and we expect to see its numbers increase during 2005 as more products launch," the researcher added.

Driven by Nokia, but helped by plenty of other vendors, including Motorola, Symbian's share of the device operating system market rose to 53 per cent in Q4, up from 38 per cent in the year-ago quarter and Q3's 50 per cent share. ®


Q4 2004 Worldwide PDA Shipments
Rank Vendor Q4 2004
Q4 2003
Growth Q4 2004
Market Share
Q4 2003
Market Share
Q3 2004
Market Share
1 Nokia 4,949,5590 2,226,660 122% 45.4% 30.8% 39.7%
2 PalmOne 1,503,590 1.389,210 8% 13.8% 19.2% 14.5%
3 HP 869,970 859,360 1% 8% 11.9% 9.3%
4 RIM 826,940 237,000 249% 7.6% 3.3% 8.3%
5 Motorola 451,840 335,610 35% 4.1% 4.6% N/A
  Others 2,300,430 2,186,950 5% 21.1% 30.2% 21.3%
  Total 10,902,320 7,234,790 51%  
Source: Canalys

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