Forward Concepts has announced the publication of its newest in-depth study of the worldwide Smartphone market and the key chips that enable them. The extensive (470-page) study, "Smartphone Device & Chip Market Opportunities '10," covers the top 24 Smartphone vendors and their 2009 market shares and change from 2008. It also provides dozens of detailed forecasts by global region and air interface technology for each through 2014 of Smartphones, key chips that enable them and operating systems.

Market dynamics and the mobile Internet ecosystem are the central focuses of the study. Some of the key findings include:

• Smartphone shipments worldwide grew 18 percent in 2009 to 171 million units at a $67 B level, providing bright market opportunities for both handset and chip vendors in the current economy. The Smartphone semiconductor and display revenue also covered in the report reached $11.7 B.

• With the economy expected to continue improving, Forward Concepts forecasts a compound annual growth rate of 24 percent for Smartphones to the 496 million unit level in 2014.

• Nokia continues to be the leader in Smartphone shipments, with an estimated 2009 market share of 36.4 percent, followed by RIM at 19.4 percent, Apple at 14.9 percent and HTC at 6.3 percent. Sharp follows with a 3.5 percent market share, then Samsung at 3.4 percent. Eighteen other Smartphone vendors constitute the remaining 20 percent share.

• Western Europe has overtaken Japan to be the leader in Smartphone consumption, with a 23 percent 2009 market share. However, thanks to the iPhone and the introduction of Android phones, North America is forecast to become the leading Smartphone market in 2010, with a forecasted 22 percent share, closely followed by Western Europe at 21.6 percent, and fast-growing China at 17 percent.

• Symbian continues to be the leading Smartphone operating system, with an estimated 43 percent unit market share in 2009, while RIM's Blackberry O/S and Apple's O/S X has supplanted Microsoft Windows Mobile for the #2 and #3 positions; RIM with an estimated 19% share and O/S X with 15 percent. Windows Mobile had a 13 percent share while Linux variants, including Android, reached 8 percent, followed by Palm’s WebOS with 2 percent. Although Symbian is expected to remain dominant, we predict that Android will grow to the #2 position, followed by O/S X in 2014.

Co-author of the report, Satish Menon, stated, "2009 was the year of Smartphone applications, with Apple’s leading App Store having reached 140,000 applications. All major O/S vendors have followed suit, especially Nokia... with its own Ovi initiative. Mobile Internet uptake also remained strong during the year, posting a 29% YoY growth, reaching 500 million subscribers."

Carter L. Horney, also a co-author, commented, "On the hardware front, there is a shifting emphasis towards lower-cost Smartphones in line with the projected growth in emerging countries. Entry-level and mid-range categories will experience significantly higher unit growth as compared to the higher-end devices popular in operator-subsidized regions."

The report also forecasts the integrated circuits that go into these devices, including key devices like digital basebands, RF transceivers and PAs, communication processors, and application processors along with memory chips. Ancillary chips are also forecast individually through 2014, including chips for the new functions being added to Smartphones like multi-touch screen controllers, camera sensors, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM, GPS, Mobile TV, accelerometers, displays, etc. Details are available at: