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Dramatic Shake-Up in Mobile Device Market


By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor

It may come as no surprise that 60 percent of new handsets sold in the United States market in 2014 will be smartphone. And Research in Motion (News - Alert) is predicted to be the top-selling smartphone maker in the U.S. market, a recent Pyramid Research report found.
 
"Today, we estimate that BlackBerry has nearly 50 percent of the U.S. smartphone market," said Daniel Locke, Pyramid Research senior analyst. "Assuming competitors Motorola (News - Alert), LG, Samsung and Nokia are able to improve their positioning in this growing segment, we expect BlackBerry’s share of smartphones to decline to 37 percent; still enough to put RIM at the forefront of the U.S. market."
 
To be sure, Pyramid calls the market share shifts a "dramatic shake-up."
 
Looking at the total market, including smart and feature phones, RIM is expected to increase its sales in 2014 to 22 percent of devices, where in 2009 it sold 16 percent of devices. Apple (News - Alert), on the other hand, represented seven percent of total device sales in 2009 and will climb to 15 percent of total sales in 2014, more than doubling its share.
 
Basically, the Pyramid Research forecast calls for share gains by Apple and RIM at the expense of all the other manufacturers. LG sold 23 percent of all devices in 2009 but will sell only 18 percent of all devices in 2014.
 
Samsung (News - Alert) sold 23 percent of all devices in 2009 and will drop to 19 percent in 2014. Motorola, with 11 percent of total sales in 2009, will decline to seven percent. All other manufacturers sold 20 percent of devices in 2009 and will represent 19 percent of sales in 2014.
 
One suspects that HTC will be the real wild card. Five years can be an awfully long time in a market changing as fast as the mobile handset business looks to be doing. Also, the forecast tracks devices, not operating systems, so Android might be a bigger factor than the top-line devices shipments might suggest.
 
Smartphones represented about 31 percent of new handsets sold in the U.S. market in the third quarter of 2009, up from 15 percent two years earlier. Verizon Wireless, for example, said smartphones represented 40 percent of its device sales in the second quarter of 2009.

Gary Kim (News - Alert) is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Gary’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney