Global Smartphone Sales Up 72.1% In 2010

Worldwide mobile device sales to end users totaled 1.6 billion units in 2010, a 31.8 percent increase from 2009, according to a new report from research company Gartner. The report also found that smartphone sales to end users were up 72.1 percent from 2009 and accounted for 19 percent of total mobile communications device sales in 2010.

Gartner attributed the growth to strong fourth quarter sales in 2010, especially from Apple and Research in Motion. RIM’s overall mobile phone sales to end users in 2010 reached a total of 47.5 million units, an increase of 38.2 percent year-on-year. While volume was high, RIM lost its market share, which declined from 19.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 13.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Apple sold 46.6 million units in 2010, marking an 87.2 percent growth from 2009. Gartner attributed this growth to expansion into new countries, as well as to ending exclusivity deals.