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ZTE breaks into top 5 in global handset sales

Posted: 02 Feb 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:top worldwide handset vendors? global handset sales? lower-cost feature phones?

ZTE Corp. was ranked fourth among the top worldwide handset vendors in terms of global sales in the fourth quarter of 2010. Market research firm International Data Corp. (IDC) noted that this is the first time that a Chinese company has made it to the top five in any quarter.

ZTE, which sells primarily lower-cost feature phones in emerging markets, shipped 16.8 million handsets in the fourth quarter, good for 4.2 percent market share, according to IDC. ZTE has been steadily spreading from China to ship handsets into developing regions such as Africa and South America, and has also recently made inroads in developed markets such as Western Europe, Japan and the U.S., IDC said.

"Change-up among the number four and five vendors could be a regular occurrence this year," said Ramon Llamas, a senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team, in a statement. Motorola, Research In Motion and Sony Ericsson, which all ranked among the top five worldwide handset vendors in 2010, are all within striking distance of moving back to the top five, Llamas said.

Overall, the worldwide mobile phone market grew by 17.9 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2010, paced by the growth of smartphones, IDC said. According to IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped 401.4 million units in the fourth quarter, compared to 340.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2009. Vendors shipped a total of 1.39 billion units on a cumulative worldwide basis in 2010, up 18.5 percent from the 1.17 billion units shipped in 2009, according to IDC.

Q4 top five mobile phone vendors.

Figure 1: Top five mobile phone vendors, shipments and market share in Q4 2010.

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