(Reuters) - Top handset vendors are set to roll out a slew of new smartphone models next week at the Mobile World Congress trade show, hoping to benefit from surging demand for more advanced handsets.
Following are some key facts about top smartphone makers’ latest business trends and outlook:
The world’s biggest cellphone maker also leads the smartphone market, with a 39 percent share of 174 million smartphones sold in 2009, but it has lost ground to Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s Blackberry.
Nokia is trying to win back customers with simpler, cheaper models — like its 5000-series smartphones — and has halved its launch plans for 2010 to better focus on key models. It has also launched free satellite navigation to boost smartphone sales.
The Blackberry maker has 20 percent of the smartphone market based on its success with business professionals, and is cracking the consumer market with retail-friendly, but lower-profit models such as the Curve.
RIM is also expanding its international business beyond the stronghold North American market.
Maker of the iPhone, which became a consumer phenomenon and led the mobile industry to shift focus on software and applications, ranks No. 3 in smartphones with a 14 percent share. Apple is expanding into new markets such as China, though it lost some market share to top players in October-December.
Taiwan’s HTC is the world’s No.4 smartphone brand. As increasing competition and falling prices pressure its business, HTC plans to introduce lower-priced models to target developing markets such as China. HTC also manufactures Google’s own-brand Nexus One smartphone.
Samsung, the world’s second-biggest in overall mobile phones, sold 5.7 million smartphones in 2009 for 3 percent of the global market.
The South Korean group aims to at least treble its smartphone volume this year and plans to offer phones running on Android, Windows Mobile and Linux, as well as its own bada software platform. Samsung has opened bada to outside developers to raise its position in smartphones.
The U.S. mobile maker is betting its future on smartphones based on Google’s Android operating system after losing market share and suffering losses in recent years.
Motorola forecast shipments of 11-14 million smartphones this year and these devices would bring in more than 50 percent of its handset unit revenue.
Its Droid phone, championed by top U.S. mobile service Verizon Wireless, helped Motorola post forecast-beating smartphone sales in the fourth quarter.
The Japanese-Swedish venture has struggled to build position in the smartphone market, with Windows-phone X1 its most widely known smartphone. It plans to focus increasingly on smartphones in 2010.
Loss-making Sony Ericsson has only a few models, but uses three different operating systems — Symbian, Android and Windows — stretching resources.
LG, the world’s No.3 mobile maker, plans to beef up smartphone sales and unveil about 20 new models this year, with more than half running on Android.
LG, which has a partnership with Microsoft Corp on smartphones, will also roll out new phones on Windows Mobile and LiMo’s Linux. It has an ambitious target to achieve a double-digit share of the global smartphone market by 2012.
Reporting by Rhee So-eui and Tarmo Virki, editing by Will Waterman