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ZTE's cheap Android drops Apple to fifth in world share

updated 10:55 pm EST, Thu January 27, 2011

IDC: iPhone 5th, ZTE up to 4th in share

Apple has faced an unusual setback in its cellphone market share grab as IDC reported that it had been held off by ZTE. The Chinese company grew the exact same amount as its iPhone-making rival and claimed the fourth place spot in the fall with 4.2 percent share, keeping Apple at exactly four percent. The new rivalry was paralleled in the results for all of 2010, where ZTE was again the fourth largest with 3.7 percent where Apple managed 3.4 percent.

The unusual success was attributed to ZTE's decision to push low-cost Android phones and other budget phones, particularly in its native country and in developing areas like Africa and China. Phones such as the Blade (also known as the Orange San Francisco) and Racer gave it a footprint not just in areas where cost is a major factor but also in Europe and North America. Apple had strong success with the iPhone 4 but admitted that it had been limited by supply and hinted it might have beaten ZTE otherwise.

The CDMA iPhone is predicted to improve Apple's stance by giving it sales at Verizon and other carriers that could tip the balance but have been off-limits until now.

Researchers noted that the position of the top three phone makers was, for the first time, consistently negative. Nokia's rapid crash in estimated share was validated as it sank to 30.8 percent. Normally fast-moving Samsung, however, also saw a rare drop in share and edged down just slightly to 20.1 percent. LG's initial sluggishness in developing competitive smartphones was still felt in its overall phone share as it tumbled from 10 percent a year ago to 7.6 percent today.

Samsung's relatively small loss in share was helped by the Galaxy S, whose presence in much of the developed world gave it a significant reach. Nokia's average smartphone selling price dropped 16 percent over the period and may have directly contributed to the loss as customers steered away from the N8, C6 and other new Nokia phones and towards either an iPhone or Android, both of which were popular in Nokia's once secure European home base.

by MacNN Staff



  1. bleee

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Advertisers will pay less for low end phone impres

    I'm not sure this is such a big deal, as technology advances advertisers will be able to rank the quality of each ad impression based on the mobile device that's viewing the ad because it tells you what demographic the person falls under and more importantly how much $$$ they have.

    This whole market share battle atleast for Google has more to do with advertising dollars and ad impressions, advertisers will be able discriminate more in the future they already do it with websites they'll do it with smart phones soon enough.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Who is ZTE

    And why should anyone care?

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Competing against... That's right. Android is given away free to anyone manufacture to make as many POS devices as they wish to sell for peanuts. Even a buy one get one free or two free, uses Android that is Free.

  1. chippie

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How much a person pays for their phone has no true correlation to how much money the person has or spends. I for one, always pay with cash (including my house) and only purchase my mobile phones off contract or on prepaid( and have them unlocked). For me a mobile phone is basically used for talking. As viewing web pages and email is a misery on such screens. It is the 2 year contracts that allow anyone( regardless of income) to have $500 and up mobiles, many would choose cheaper models if they had to pay the cost at once. I don't keep up with the Jones's or get my self worth from gadgets. And I know that most mature people don't either. I prefer my money invested were it works for me!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Advertisers will pay less

    Yes, they will, because we know no one would ever spend more than they can on a product or device. h***, that's why the economy is in such fine shape. Knowing that people would never buy more house then they could afford is what has kept us on solid economic footing over the last 20 years!

    Oh, and it also doesn't mean a thing because some people may just like the 'cheaper' phone over the more expensive one. Just because one can afford to buy a Mercedes doesn't mean they just won't buy a Honda or Ford.

  1. xmlaroux

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Why all the hatred? Has Android stolen your wallet? Flatten your tire? Kissed your girlfriend?

    It is an OS, use it or don't. That is all. You need to relax and worry about the important things in life.

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