More than 314 million handsets were sold in the first three months of this year, up 17 percent from the same period last year, according to Gartner.
The trend figures to continue for the foreseeable future as developing countries embrace mobile handsets for the first time while the majority of smartphone-savvy consumers continue to upgrade to bigger and better devices.
As Enterprise Mobile Today reports, Apple was one of the biggest beneficiaries of consumers’ gadget addiction, selling more than 8.4 million units in the quarter—up 112 percent from 3.9 million units in the same period last year—thanks to strong demand from customers in China, India and Japan.
What’s most surprising is that smartphones only account for 17 percent of the world’s total handset market, leaving plenty of cash up for grabs for handset makers like Nokia, Samsung, LG Electronics, Sony Ericsson and Motorola.
Worldwide mobile phone sales grew 17 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2010, but smartphones greatly outpaced the overall mobile market, up 48.7 percent year-over-year, and it was Apple and Google that led the way.
The survey from Gartner states the smartphone market is rapidly accelerating to account for more and more of the total handset market. Smartphones sales in Q1 of 2010 were 54.3 million units, or 17.3 percent of the total market of 314.7 million units. In the year-prior quarter, smartphones accounted for 13.6 percent of sales.