Rest of World Barely Beats European Smartphone Sales
By Eric Lin, Thu May 06 22:45:00 GMT 2004

IDC has confirmed the global handset sales we reported last week. In addition, they've also broken out worldwide smartphone sales figures.

A report today from IDC echoed last week's numbers from Strategy Analytics that first-quarter handset sales totaled approximately 153 million units. IDC's numbers are typically a little lower than other research firms, and this holds true here as well, as it logged sales of 152.7 million units, 400,000 fewer than Strategy Analytics. The vendor by vendor breakout matches SA's within 0.1 % confirming the top five sales leaders as Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Siemens and Sony Ericsson.

IDC also broke out worldwide smartphone sales, which they file under "converged devices." As with Canalys' numbers from Europe, Nokia came out on top thanks to the strong sales of its Series 60 smartphones. The numbers then differ adding in devices preferred elsewhere. RIM was number two, followed by Motorola, Fujitsu and Sony Ericsson. Fujitsu's strong showing was no doubt thanks to its Symbian-based FOMA handset, while the other results should be fairly self-explanatory.

While we know less than 17,000 Palm OS handsets, including the new Treos were sold in Europe, we were surprised to find PalmOne didn't even sell 200,000 units worldwide, keeping it out of the top five. Last week, Palm OS news sites suspiciously released data from NPD Group (which NPD has not released to the public) that Palm OS smartphones are outselling any other OS in the US by at least two to one. Curiously, Nokia Series 60 smartphones were not counted in NPD's data, however the study notes that not enough were sold in the US to change Palm's lead.

It's not just Palm's numbers, sales of smartphones in the States (as well as the rest of North America and Asia) are flat out weak. If we subtract Palm's European sales from their possible world-wide sales, it sold no more than 180,000 units in North America and Asia combined last quarter. Nokia sold somewhere around 200,000 smartphones outside of Europe. In fact, the total sales of smartphones sales outside of Europe barely exceeded sales inside Europe last quarter. Clearly, there's still room for growth in this segment.