Analyst: More smartphones than PCs by 2011

Smartphone sales will surpass worldwide PC sales by the end of 2011, according to a new report. The report, by RBC analyst Mike Abramsky, estimates that by that time shipments of both will be approaching 400 million a year.

Smartphone sales are on the increase, with standard mobile sales decreasing, which is pushing PC makers, such as Apple, Dell, Acer and Microsoft into the lucrative arena.

Worldwide mobile phone sales totaled 286.1 million units in the second quarter of 2009, a 6.1% decrease from the second quarter of 2008, according to research firm Gartner Inc. However, smartphone sales surpassed 40 million units, a 27% increase from the same period last year, representing the fastest-growing segment of the mobile-devices market.

"Given the higher margins, smartphones offer the biggest opportunity for manufacturers. It is the fastest-growing market segment and the most resistant to declining average selling prices," said Carolina Milanesi, research director at Gartner.

Apple is picking up particular praise from analysts due to its iPhone smartphone reports RBC saying of Apple's 2008 estimated 11% share of the smartphone market: "We view the iPhone as a ten-year platform, with significant growth and share gains ahead. Our outlook reflects continued iPhone share gains in domestic and international markets, driven by distribution expansion, more innovations in devices and user experience, and additional iPhone SKUs. Apple's iTunes/iTunes Store/Device ecosystem remains a significant source of competitive advantage."

While pessimistic about market leader Nokia, RBC was positive about Research In Motion's BlackBerry range, which is estimated to have a 2008 share of 18%. "We believe RIM will continue to possess sustainable advantages in its intuitive, powerful 'Crackberry' messaging and data experiences, reliability and battery life, and its NOC/ software/ hardware ownership."

In recent weeks Asusek has teamed up with Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom to start selling the Nuvifone M20, a Windows Mobile smartphone.

And a Dell smartphone has been submitted to China's regulatory authorities for testing and is expected to go on sale next month.

Acer plans to send its three latest smartphones to market in September, with two of the new handsets priced for the recession. The three smartphones will all use Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system and carry Acer's user interface, which the company views as a cornerstone of its smartphone strategy.

This story, "Analyst: More smartphones than PCs by 2011" was originally published by PC Advisor (UK).

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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