The global smartphone market in the third quarter of 2008 grew only 11.5% year-over-year – the least amount since Gartner began counting in 2004, analysts said today.
End-user sales of smartphones totaled 36.5 million units in the quarter.
“Going forward, we should expect the smartphone device market to continue to grow but at a slower pace. Although leading mobile operators are subsidizing more smartphones, to reach lower prices they tie the device to two-year contracts with monthly data plan rates, which remain too expensive for the mainstream user,” analyst Roberta Cozza said.
In market share, Nokia remained first with 42.4%, but with its first-ever decline of 3% year-over-year, partially because of its delay in launching touchscreen devices, Cozza said.
Conversely, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry sales skyrocketed by 81.7% in the quarter, resulting in 15.9% market share. Apple regained the third spot with 12.9%. Apple also made a jump with its operating system, passing Microsoft’s Windows Mobile sales for the first time.
All other smartphone vendors are in the single digits. HTC had 4.5% and Sharp had 3.4%.
Also in research news today, Strategy Analytics said mobile Web browsing will become a $38 billion market in the year 2013, with more than 750 million global users. “Although we have entered into an economic downturn, Strategy Analytics continues to forecast increased spending on mobile Internet access products over the next few years. During this period, we anticipate price competition on data access from operators, as well as greater consumer adoption of flexible casual browsing options that meet the needs of a broader base of cellular users, such as low-priced, daily capped rates,” vice president David Kerr said.