Research company Canalys has released its estimates of smartphone shipments for 2011, noting that annual global shipments of smartphones exceeded those of client PCs - desktop PCs, laptops, netbooks and tablets - for the first time.
Total worldwide smartphone shipments increased 63% year-on-year to 487.7 million units, it calculated, while the number of client PCs shipped globally grew by 15% to 414.6 million units. Tablet shipments were up 274% on 2010 to 26.5 million devices; in contrast, netbook shipments were down 32% to 6.7 million.
Chris Jones, Canalys vice president and Principal Analyst, said “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. But pads have had negligible impact on smart phone volumes and markets across the globe have seen persistent and substantial growth through 2011. Smart phone shipments overtaking those of client PCs should be seen as a significant milestone. In the space of a few years, smart phones have grown from being a niche product segment at the high-end of the mobile phone market to becoming a truly mass-market proposition. The greater availability of smart phones at lower price points has helped tremendously, but there has been a driving trend of increasing consumer appetite for Internet browsing, content consumption and engaging with apps and services on mobile devices.”