Annual global shipments of smart phones exceeded those of PCs (including tablets) for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2011, says Canalys.
Vendors shipped 158.5 million smart phones in the fourth quarter of 2011, up 57 percent on the 101.2 million units shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010.
For the whole of 2011, smart phone shipments hit 488 million units, up 63 percent on the 299.7 million smart phones shipped in 2010.
“In 2011 we saw a fall in demand for netbooks, and slowing demand for notebooks and desktops as a direct result of rising interest in pads,” said Chris Jones, Canalys VP.
You can make your own decision about whether that indicates tablets are cannibalizing desktop PCs, notebooks or netbooks.
However, Canalys expects to see smart phone market growth slow in 2012 as vendors put more focus on profitability, especially on the part of Huawei, ZTE and LG, which will shift more effort towards higher-end models.
Apple became the leading smart phone and client PC vendor, with shipments of 37 million iPhones, 15.4 million iPads and 5.2 million Macs.
Apple also set a new record for the most smart phones shipped globally by any single vendor in one quarter, beating Nokia’s previous record of 28.3 million shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Moreover, Apple’s performance meant that it displaced Nokia, for the first time, as the leading smart phone vendor by annual shipments.
Apple shipped 93.1 million iPhones in 2011, representing growth of 96 percent over 2010.
Samsung shipped 35.3 million Samsung-branded smart phones in the fourth quarter of 2011, for a total of 91.9 million for the year, compared to just 24.9 million in 2010.
Nokia shipped 19.6 million smart phones, down 31 percent from the record high of a year earlier.
Android accounted for 52 percent of global smart phones shipments in the fourth quarter of 2011, with iOS representing 23 percent and Symbian 12 percent.
Android was also the leading smart phone platform by volume for the whole year, accounting for 49 percent of all devices shipped in 2011.