HTC Touch Pro2, Droid, Cliq, BlackBerry Help Fuel Positive Wireless Outlook


The fourth quarter releases of smartphones including Android and BlackBerry, along with the success of the HTC Touch Pro2  are helping fuel a positive outlook for the wireless market in Q4.  We talked with senior research analyst Ramon Llamas at IDC who just released the IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

"The HTC Touch Pro2 is the kind of Windows experience that people have been wanting to see," remarked Llamas about the sold-out Windows smartphone. The HTC Touch Pro2 went on sale in September at Verizon, sold-out, came back-in-stock for a day and then sold-out again.

Another factor, contributing to his positive outlook for smartphones, is Verizon's Droid, "Everyone is optimistic on many fronts. Motorola is hopeful and Verizon is very positive," Llamas said.

Llamas pointed out that Motorola and Verizon are positioning the Droid feature-set squarely against the iPhone which shows their confidence in Droid

Smartphones such as the Motorola Cliq, HTC Hero, BlackBerry Storm2 and BlackBerry Bold 9700 contribute to the optimism for the growing smartphone market.

"The mobile phone market is showing the first signs of improvement since the onset of the economic crisis," Llamas said "During the third quarter, we saw a number of channels promoting older devices at significantly lower prices. For many, this was enough to spur demand and push volumes higher. Now that we have moved into the fourth quarter, vendors are setting the stage for further gains by launching their flagship devices to meet pent-up demand."

Verizon's aggessive BOGO (Buy One Get One Free) and BOGA (Buy One Get Anything) promotions such as Verizon giving purchasers of the BlackBerry Storm2 the option to get a free MiFi or netbook, also entice more smartphone buyers.

"It's a great hook," commented Llamas, "Consumers should be aware that although they get a free device, it translates into double monthly service charges."

We wondered, will there be a Droid or HTC Hero shortage like the Verizon HTC Touch Pro2 shortage around the holidays? 

Llamas noted, HTC earlier this year hinted that there may be shortages in the second half of the year.

Here's some data from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker:

The worldwide mobile phone market saw mild sequential growth in the third quarter (3Q09), according to IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker. Year-on-year growth remained negative, but improved from the first half of 2009. Mobile phone shipments totaled 287.1 million units worldwide in 3Q09, down 6.0% from a year earlier, but up 5.6% from the second quarter. 

• The North American market posted mixed results for 3Q09. The United States posted positive results, with converged mobile devices and prepaid handsets once again driving growth. Meanwhile, the Canadian mobile phone market declined for the third straight quarter despite double-digit converged mobile device growth. The tepid Canadian economy, shrinking traditional phone segment, and inventory clear out by the largest service providers led to the market's weaker three-month performance.

Five Mobile Phone Vendors

Nokia experienced continued pressure during 3Q09 in its
Devices and Services group. The company reported a 20% decrease in revenue, ASP
decline, and a shortage of components across its product portfolio. Even its
tight hold on the converged mobile device category was loosened as the company
cited a market share decrease from 41% to an estimated 35%. This did not keep
Nokia from enhancing its services arm, acquiring cellity, Doplr, and assets
from Plum Ventures.

Samsung reached a new record by shipping more than 60
million units in a single quarter. This puts the company well within reach of
achieving its goal of shipping 200 million units in 2009. Driving growth was a
combination of touchscreen-enabled and QWERTY messaging devices going into
developed markets as well as key models within emerging markets. Looking to
4Q09, Samsung is poised to launch strategic converged mobile devices running on
Android and Linux.

breached the 30 million
unit mark for the first time in its history. Nearly half of those units sold
for less than $100, making them handsome purchases for carriers. Still, the
company was vulnerable in Korea and North America. Moreover, the lack of converged
mobile devices and handsets for prepaid services prevented LG from capitalizing
on growth opportunities in these segments. LG expects to launch Android and
Windows converged mobile devices in 4Q09, while boosting its profile in India
and China, improving its competitive position in the near term.

marked Hideki Komiyama's
final quarter as president of the company. During his tenure, Sony Ericsson
realized improved operational efficiencies and cost reduction to increase
profitability. However, the lack of entry-level devices during the economic
recession left the company vulnerable as its competitors were able to keep up
with shifting demand. That trend appears to continue as a list of mid-range and
high-end devices are set to launch in 4Q09 and Bert Nordberg, head of Ericsson
Silicon Valley, assumes Komiyama's position.

slipped to fifth place, but in the
process the company reported progress in its restructuring campaign. In
addition to reducing its operating losses for the second consecutive quarter,
Motorola announced its much anticipated Android-powered converged mobile
device, the CLIQ/DEXT, as well as its new DROID. The company announced that it
would shift its resources towards converged mobile devices and away from traditional
mobile phones in 2010, a move the company hopes will improve gross margins and
reduce operating losses.

Top Five Mobile Phone
Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Q3 2009
(Units in Millions)


3Q09 Shipment Volumes

3Q09 Market Share

3Q08 Shipment Volumes

3Q08 Market Share

Year-on-Year Growth













LG Electronics






Sony Ericsson
























IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, October 29,

more information about IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, please
contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or