Smartphones Outsell PCs for the First Time

The popularity of smartphones is exploding as the IDC reports a total of 100.9 million smartphones were shipped worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2010. The number represents an 87.2% jump from last year's fourth quarter number of 53.9 million. Yearly totals jumped as well from 173.5 million smartphones in 2009 to 302.6 million, a 74.4% increase. It also is the first time that smartphones have outsold PCs in history.

The sales of PCs rose as well but not at the same meteoric rate. From Q4 2009 to Q4 2010 PC sales increased 5.5% only. PCs shipped a total of 346.2 million units last year, keeping them on top of smartphones for now. But with a consumer market always on the move and being mobile a necessity, it won't be long until smartphones eclipse PCs in total units per year as well.

The top five smartphone vendors in the world for Q4 were Nokia (28.3 million), Apple (16.2 million), Research In Motion (14.6 million), Samsung (9.7 million) and HTC (8.6 million). Yearly totals for amount shipped switches RIM and Apple but keep everyone in the same place with Nokia on top. Samsung and HTC enjoyed huge increases in their year-over-year growth numbers, certain to make future competition very fierce. According to the IDC, these five performed well because:

[Via IDC]