Mobile phone vendors shipped 317.5 million units during the second quarter, an increase of 14.5% from the 277.2 million units shipped during the second quarter of 2009. For the first half of 2010, vendors shipped a total of 620.6 million units, up 18.5% from 523.5 million units for the same period last year.
"That worldwide growth was driven primarily by vendors outside the top vendors is particularly noteworthy," said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team. "Directly contributing to this is growth in the smartphone category. Companies with a strict focus on the smartphone market, like RIM, Apple, and HTC have clearly benefited from steadily increasing user interest. But it's not just smartphone vendors that have driven the market forward – it's also the companies with a presence among entry-level handsets and mid-range devices, which have long been the domain of the worldwide leaders.
"To dismiss the worldwide leaders would be a mistake," added Llamas. "Each currently enjoys broad distribution, a deep portfolio, and brand recognition. Moreover, each is in the midst of refreshing its respective product portfolio, with greater emphasis on smartphones during the second half of this year. Still, the upward pressure from vendors outside the current top five vendors, particularly Apple and Motorola, will provide tough competition in the quarters to come."
IDC analyst Kevin Restivo says some traditional mobile phone makers and brand owners have gained share due to higher volumes of lower-cost models, which are increasingly popular with wireless service providers.
Another recent study found an up-tick in cheap knockoff phones.