Pictured on the right: Recently leaked HTC Thunderbolt with 4G LTE, rumored to hit the Verizon network following a CES announcement.
It's understandable some folks resent the hype surrounding Android, iOS, and BlackBerry. At the end of the day, media simply reports on the news that interest the bulk of its consumers. In the case of the smartphone race, Apple, RIM and HTC dominate the headlines for a good reason.
Asian component and handset makers who spoke to Taiwanese trade paper Digitimes estimate that half of the world's smartphone output in the first quarter of next year will belong to these three handset makers.
Apple is expected to sell between 19 and 20 million iPhones, which probably includes an estimated 5-6 million units of a mythical Verizon iPhone, allegedly due in North America and Asia Pacific in Q1 2011.
Research In Motion is expected to ship between 14 and 15 million BlackBerrys while HTC should account for 8-9 million smartphones, sources claim. Global smartphone shipments in Q1 2011 are being pegged at 80-85 million units. The publication expects Apple to unseat RIM as the #2 smartphone maker:
Apple is also expected to replace RIM as the second-ranked smartphone vendor with a 20-25% global market share, followed by RIM, Samsung Electronics and HTC, commented the sources, noting that Samsung and HTC are expected to each grab 10% or more.
Nokia should grab 30 percent of the smartphone market in Q1 2011, the report noted. Our resident analyst Tomi Ahonen, who this week released his eleventh book about the state of mobile industry, analyzed recent estimates by Canalys and Strategy Analytics.
Research In Motion is the second-largest smartphone maker in the world in terms of both shipments and market share.
Both these surveys pegged smartphone sales in the third quarter of 2010 at 80 million units in total, with North America and Western Europe accounting for 26 percent and 24 percent of all smartphones sold, respectively. The remaining 50 percent was shipped to the Rest of the World region, he noted.
Component suppliers expect Apple to unseat RIM in Q1 2011 as the world's second largest phone vendor.
In January, Ahonen estimated 2010 market share for key smartphone makers Nokia, RIM, Apple, Samsung, and HTC, observing Apple stands a chance of topping RIM to become the second-largest smartphone maker in the world in terms of full year sales provided they sell at least 17.2 million iPhones in the holiday quarter. Apple is set to report on its holiday quarter earnings on Tuesday, January 18.