Nokia, palmOne, HP and RIM retained their positions as the top four global mobile device vendors in Q4 2004. They were joined in fifth place by Motorola, which saw success with both its Windows Mobile and Symbian based smart phones.
Canalys estimates indicate that Nokia shipped an impressive 4.9 million smart phones in the quarter ? a new record ? increasing its market share substantially, both year on year and sequentially. The long-awaited refresh of its enterprise-focused Communicator range arrived in the form of the Series 80 based Nokia 9500 ? the first smart phone to ship with integrated WiFi.
"The next clamshell/keyboard device from Nokia, the Nokia 9300, is expected shortly and will further strengthen Nokia's push into the mobile enterprise solution segment," said Chris Jones, Canalys director and senior analyst.
PalmOne's combined 1.5 million handheld and smart phone shipments meant 8% growth overall, but this was constrained somewhat by the new Treo 650 initially only being available on the Sprint network in the US. PalmOne remains the leading smart phone vendor in North America. HP's shipments increased by only 1% worldwide in Q4, having successfully sold significant numbers of new models into the channel in the previous quarter. It focused on higher end models in Q4 and enjoyed strong shipments in EMEA of the new h6340 wireless handheld, benefiting from a strategy that included targeting its corporate customer base using direct sales and integrators.
RIM was narrowly behind HP, repeating its superb growth of recent quarters, with total shipments up 249% year on year. Shipments of the 7100 series grew, but its established form-factor devices still account for the majority of sales.
"Motorola also had a good quarter," Jones added. "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."
Symbian's overall mobile device market share rose to 53% from 38% one year ago and was also up on last quarter's 50%. As well as Nokia, Motorola and Fujitsu, its overall position was helped by steady shipments from Sony Ericsson and Sendo, a rise in volume for the Siemens SX1 and the first shipments from licensees Panasonic and BenQ.
Canalys provides comprehensive tracking and analysis of the markets for all types of "smart" pocket-sized mobile device in an integrated worldwide research programme. Its market share estimates include smart phones like the Sony Ericsson P910, palmOne Treo 650, Orange SPV c500 and Nokia 7610, wireless handhelds such as the RIM BlackBerry 72xx and 77xx ranges, T-Mobile MDA II and HP iPAQ h6315, and standalone handhelds (without integral wide-area wireless capabilities), for example the palmOne Tungsten T5 and HP iPAQ h4150. This provides clients with a complete picture of the market and enables comparison between the different classes of device.