Lead by the impressive sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, the Android platform is finally starting to gain momentum in the emerging consumer tablet market. Analytics firm Strategy Analytics reports that Android owned 22% of the global tablet market in the fourth quarter of 2010. The iPad’s share of the market dropped from 96% to 75% in the fourth quarter last year, according to the report. Apple shipped 7.3 million iPads last quarter, up 74% from the third quarter, while 2.1 million Android tablets were shipped — 2 million of which were built by Samsung. But Samsung won’t be carrying the market on its own for long. Android is already well on its way to overrunning the consumer tablet market as it did with smartphones. Over 100 tablets were announced at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month, and about half of them will run Android. With multiple new Android tablets launching each month compared to one new iPad from Apple each year, Google’s OS is bound to continue growing. RIM is also preparing to launch the BlackBerry PlayBook as its first tablet offering this year, which could sell as many as 6 million units during its first year of availability. More →
Canalys today becomes the first major firm to report a changing of the guard we all knew was coming. According to the industry watcher’s fourth-quarter 2010 data, Google’s Android platform outsold Nokia’s Symbian OS to become the best-selling smartphone platform in the world. Canalys’ figures show 32.9 million Android-powered smartphones having been shipped last quarter, while Symbian device shipments slid in at 31 million units. In terms of market share, Android reeled in 32.9% of the market in the fourth quarter while Symbian owned 30.6% of the market. This marks the first time in 10 years that another smartphone operating system has outsold Symbian — and as fast as Android is growing, it most definitely will not be the last. Other notable takeaways from the report: Apple shipped 16.2 million smartphones to take 16% of the market, down 0.1% from the same quarter in 2009, and RIM’s global market share slid from 20% in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 14.4% last quarter. Despite losing ground in market share, Apple and RIM both saw year-over-year growth in terms of device shipments — up 85.9% and 36%, respectively. Hit the break for Canalys’ full press release. More →
Samsung on Friday reported its fourth quarter and full year 2010 earnings, highlighting revenue and net income growth but missing Wall Street’s consensus as operating profit slid for the first time in six quarters. The company posted fourth quarter revenue of 41.87 trillion won, up 7% from the same quarter in 2009, and net income was up 13% year-over-year to 3.42 trillion won. Operating profit missed the Street’s consensus, however, falling 12% year-over-year to 3.01 trillion won. Samsung reported record revenue for the full year, up 13% from 2009 to 154.63 trillion won. 2010 net income set a full-year record as well, up 65% year-over-year to 16.15 trillion won, as did full-year operating income, which came in at 17.3 trillion won. Samsung’s mobile division reported a record profit of 1.44 trillion won in the fourth quarter, up 38% year-over-year, and the company shipped 80.7 million cell phones in the quarter. Full-year shipments reached 280 million units, up 23% from 2009 and outpacing the global market. Hit the break for Samsung’s full press release. More →
Chinese consumer electronics company ZTE exploded from the “other” category in the fourth quarter of 2010 to displace Apple as the No. 4 cell phone maker in the world. In doing so, the Chinese manufacturer also bumped RIM off of the top 5 list for the quarter and, more alarmingly perhaps, for the full year. Market analysis firm IDC on Thursday issued its data for the final quarter of 2010 and ZTE was without question the biggest shock. Growing 76.8% year-over-year, ZTE shipped 16.8 million cell phones in the fourth quarter, compared to 9.5 million in the same quarter a year prior. Apple bested ZTE’s growth, ballooning by 86.2% year-over-year, but fourth quarter shipments slid in at 16.2 million units. Apple blew past RIM in the third quarter of 2010 as the company finally broke into the top 5 thanks to explosive iPhone sales. RIM now finds itself in the troubling “other” category — a position it will fight to escape using an army of new BlackBerry smartphones in 2011. The cell phone market grew 17.9% overall in the fourth quarter according to IDC. Hit the break for IDC’s full press release, including charts showing the top 5 cell phone companies by shipments in the fourth quarter and full year. More →
Nokia revealed its third consecutive decline in profits as the struggling cell phone maker reported its fourth-quarter 2010 earnings. Net sales grew 6% year-over-year to €12.65 billion, but operating profit slid 26% from €1.47 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009 to €1.09 billion. Operating profit margin in the company’s Devices and Services division was also down substantially from 15.4% in Q4 2009 to 11.3% in Q4 2010, and Nokia said it expects a further decline in the first quarter of 2011, dropping to between 7% and 10%. Smartphone shipments actually grew to 28.3 million in the fourth quarter, up from 20.8 million in the same quarter in 2009 and 26.5 million sequentially, but the market outgrew Nokia at a truly alarming pace. Despite this growth, Nokia’s share of the global smartphone market slid to 31% from 38% in the previous quarter. “The game has changed from battle of devices to war of ecosystems,” Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said on the company’s earnings call. “Our industry has changed and we have to change faster.” Hit the break for Nokia’s full report. More →
Try as it may, 2010 is a year that LG Electronics will not soon forget. The struggling electronics giant on Wednesday reported its fourth quarter earnings and put the cap on its worst year on record. The company posted a fourth-quarter net loss of 256.4 trillion won compared to profits of 361.9 billion won in the fourth quarter of 2009. Operating profit for the full year was down 93% to 176.4 billion won. Revenue from cell phones dropped 15% as LG’s mobile division posted a 274.1 billion won loss. Shipments were also down 10% to 30.6 million units, pushing LG into the No. 5 spot globally behind RIM. The company will look to new high-end smartphones like the Optimus 2X, Optimus Black and Optimus 3D as it attempts to reverse its declining mobile trend. LG remains the No. 2 TV company globally, as sales in its home entertainment division increased 15.8% compared to the third quarter of this year. Because competition forced LG to drop the average selling price on its television sets, however, the company’s home entertainment business still posted an operating loss in the quarter. Hit the break for LG’s full press release. More →
Microsoft confirmed to Bloomberg that its partners sold over 2 million Windows Phone 7 devices to carriers and retail partners last quarter. The company also claimed that according to its findings, 93% of Windows Phone 7 customers are satisfied with the operating system and brand awareness has increased by half to 66%. “Sales are an important measure, but for a new platform we think customer satisfaction and active developer support are more important indicators of how sales will be over the long term,” senior product manager Greg Sullivan said in an interview. Sullivan stated that there are 24,000 developers signed up to build apps for the Windows Phone 7 platform, and 6,500 apps are currently available in Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace. More →
Motorola Mobility on Wednesday reported its fourth quarter and full year 2010 earnings. It also gave grim but anticipated guidance for the first quarter of 2011 as Verizon Wireless, the company’s top carrier partner, prepares to launch the iPhone 4. Motorola’s revenues were up 21% year-over-year to $3.4 billion and net revenues from the company’s Mobile Devices division grew 33% year-over-year to $2.4 billion. Smartphone shipments were well under Wall Street’s consensus, however, coming in at 4.9 million units. Some analysts’ expectations were as high as 5.6 million units. Shipments totalled 13.7 million smartphones for the full year, and the company shipped 37.3 million feature phones and smartphones combined in 2010. Motorola forecasts a loss of between $26 and $62 million in the first quarter of 2011, which amounts to $0.09 and $0.21 per share in the red. Analysts had projected a profit of $0.01 per share in the quarter. Hit the break for Motorola’s full press release. More →
Led by tremendous continued demand for Apple’s iPad, tablet sales helped drive impressive 19% fourth-quarter growth in the global PC market according to research firm Canalys. Strong Mac and iPad sales resulted in 241% growth year-over-year for the Cupertino-based company, which passed Dell this quarter to become the third-largest PC vender in the world. Shipments jumped from 3.4 million to 11.5 million units, and Apple now owns 10.8% of the global PC market. Ahead of Apple is Acer, which saw 8.8% growth year-over-year in the fourth quarter. The company shipped 13.6 million PCs amounting to 12.8% of the global market. Atop the list with 17.7% of the market is HP, which shipped 18.7 million computers in the fourth quarter. Year-over-year growth slowed to 2.9%, however, while companies like Dell and Lenovo showed double-digit growth. HP plans to enter the tablet market in the first half of this year, and it is expected to announce its first tablet devices at a press event next month.
As to whether or not tablets like the Apple iPad should be included in PC sales figures, Canalys Senior Analyst Daryl Chiam addresses the question quite well: “Any argument that a pad is not a PC is simply out of sync,” Chiam said in a statement. “With screen sizes of seven inches or above, ample processing power, and a growing number of applications, pads offer a computing experience comparable to netbooks. They compete for the same customers and will happily coexist. As with smart phones, some users will require a physical keyboard, while others will do without.” Hit the break for Canalys’ full release. More →
Shares of Verizon Communications stock slid over 1% in after-hours trading Tuesday morning as the company reported its fourth quarter earnings. Despite almost doubling profit from $2.37 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009 to $4.65 billion in 2010, earnings of $0.54 per share missed the Street’s consensus of $0.55 per share and revenue fell 2.6% to $26.4 billion. Subscriber growth of 872,000 net postpaid customers crushed Wall Street’s consensus, however, which sat in the mid-600,000s. “Verizon ended 2010 with strong results, driven by solid execution across all our businesses,” Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said in a statement. “The fourth quarter capped a strong second half of the year, resulting in improved earnings, solid momentum and an even stronger balance sheet. Verizon Wireless produced another quarter of impressive growth, with record-high profitability, as we continue to drive higher smartphone adoption and data use. Following another solid quarter in our wireline businesses, we are optimistic about opportunities to continue to expand wireline margins.” Verizon also noted that only 26% of Verizon Wireless’ 83 million postpaid wireless subscribers owned smartphones at the close of 2010. This creates a tremendous opportunity for the carrier as it prepares to launch the iPhone 4 next month. Hit the break for Verizon’s full press release. More →
Aside from announcing a management change during this afternoon’s earnings call, Google also decided to go over its numbers for Q4 of 2010. Google raked in $8.44 billion in revenue, a 26% increase year-over-year, rewarding its investors with $7.81 earnings per share. Operating income for the quarter was $2.98 billion, or 35% of revenues — down from 37% last year — and 52% of total revenues came from overseas. Google reports $35 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities along with 24,400 full-time employees as of December 31, 2010. Pretty solid showing from the Big G. More →
Things have been rough for Sony Ericsson over the past couple of years. Intriguing new gear is on the way from this once-great Swedish joint venture, with a few sexy smartphones like the Xperia arc in the pipeline and the highly anticipated PlayStation Phone, the Xperia Play, finally about to become a reality. Unfortunately, however, none of the company’s forthcoming products could possibly have an impact on Sony Ericsson’s numbers in the fourth quarter of 2010. The company did manage to eek a pre-tax profit of €39 million, up significantly from the €181 million loss it reported the year prior. Profit was down €24 million compared to the third quarter of this year however, which is rough news for the holiday quarter. Shipments were down 23% year-over-year, dropping from 14.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 11.2 million in the final quarter of 2010. Full year shipments were down by almost a quarter compared to 2009, dropping from 57.1 million units to 43.1 million. On the bright side, Sony Ericsson has now reported four straight quarters in the black, and total shipments of its Android-powered Xperia line now sit at 9 million globally — not too shabby. Hit the jump for Sony Ericsson’s full press release.
According to new projections issued by market research firm NPD Group, Apple is poised to break its previous quarterly sales record. For the first time, Apple’s Mac unit sales are set to surpass the 4 million mark, with fourth quarter totals expected to fall in the range of 4.1 to 4.3 million. Apple’s new MacBook Air will apparently play a big role in Apple’s record-breaking quarter, and early demand for the sleek laptop makes solid sales a foregone conclusion. NPD’s numbers, if met, will represent remarkable year-over-year growth of approximately 22% to 28%. Apple is also expected to sell between 18.5 million and 19.5 million iPods during the December quarter. More →