Mobile Phone Statistics Resources

I often get asked for mobile phone metrics around most popular OS or device.  There are a number of data sources for this, but have you noticed that each may report information using slightly different metrics?  Are their statistics based on sales, shipments, surveys, or web page hits?  Are they tracking mobile phones or smartphones?  Are they tracking smartphones by OS or OEM?  Is the data regional or worldwide?  Is their timeline by month, quarter or year?

Since this is confusing to me, I decided to compile a list of companies who publish a free (my favorite word) summaries of mobile phone statistics and provide an overview on what they track.  It is by no means comprehensive, so I am sure there are other great resources out there.

I put the list in alphabetical order.  They are usually posted in the press release section of the website while the detailed reports are typically for purchase or require a subscription.  At the end of this post is a table which summarizes the results.

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forcasting of emerging trends in global connectivity. Their metrics are based on shipments and market share.  Information is provided by OEM.  The regional scope is worldwide aggregated and the timeline is by quarter.

The information can be found in their Research News section at

Here is a chart from their website.

AdMob is a mobile advertising company that provides metrics around usage of mobile sites and applications.  They do not compile sales metrics but use hits to their ad network of over 15,000 web sites and Android/iPhone applications.  Details around their reporting methodology can be found at

Their reports cover a broad and varying set of information.  They may include handset information such as mobile OS share or handset distribution within an OS as well as by OEM or specific mobile phones.  Regions reported could be by country, worldwide by region, or an aggregated worldwide view.  The timespan of reports might be by month, quarter or year.

The reports can be found at which include both summary and detailed information for free.  Here are some examples of their reports.

OS share

Aug blog pic

Canalys provides marketing data and analysis to technology vendors.  They focus on shipments and market share information.  This could be broken out by mobile OS or by OEM.  The scope is worldwide, either broken out by region or aggregated.  Their reports tend to track quarterly results of current and previous year.

A summary of their reports can be found in the Press Releases section of their website under Research releases located at  More details are available for purchase.

Here are some examples of their reports.

Worldwide smart phone market

Worldwide smart phone market

Worldwide smart phone market

comScore is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital marketing intelligence.  They use surveys to collect their data as opposed to other methods.  This could be by OEM, OS, or specific device.  The regional scope is usually by country and their timeline is usually by month.

The statistics can be located under their Press Releases section located at

Here are some sample reports.

Top Mobile OEMs
3 Months Ending Dec. 2009 vs. 3 Months Ending Sep. 2009*
Total U.S. Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Mobile Devices
Sep-09 Dec-09 Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Motorola 24.9% 23.5% -1.4
LG 21.7% 21.9% 0.2
Samsung 20.4% 21.2% 0.8
Nokia 9.6% 9.2% -0.4
RIM 6.4% 7.0% 0.6
Top Smartphone Platforms
3 Months Ending Dec. 2009 vs. 3 Months Ending Sep. 2009
Total U.S. Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Smartphone Devices
Sep-09 Dec-09 Point Change
Total Smartphone Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
RIM 42.6% 41.6% -1.0
Apple 24.1% 25.3% 1.2
Microsoft 19.0% 18.0% -1.0
Palm 8.3% 6.1% -2.2
Google 2.5% 5.2% 2.7

Gartner Research is a global IT research and consulting firm.  These reports track sales information and market share.  They track both mobile phone and smartphone by OEM and smartphone by OS.  The regional scope is usually worldwide without regional details.  The timeline for OEM data is by quarter but OS data is reported on a yearly basis.

Their summary reports are available under Gartner Newsroom with their Press Release section at  Detailed reports can be obtained by purchase or subscription.

Here are some examples of their summary reports.

Table 1
Worldwide Mobile Terminal Sales to End Users in 2009 (Thousands of Units)

Company 2009 Sales 2009
Share (%)
2008 Sales 2008
Share (%)
Nokia 440,881.6 36.4 472,314.9 38.6
Samsung 235,772.0 19.5 199,324.3 16.3
LG 122,055.3 10.1 102,789.1 8.4
Motorola 58,475.2 4.8 106,522.4 8.7
Sony Ericsson 54,873.4 4.5 93,106.1 7.6
Others 299,179.2 24.7 248,196.1 20.3
Total 1,211,236.6 100.0 1,222,252.9 100.0

Note* This table includes iDEN shipments, but excludes ODM to OEM shipments.
Source: Gartner (February 2010)

Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 2009 (Thousands of Units)

Company 2009 Units 2009
Share (%)
2008 Units 2008
Share (%)
Symbian 80,878.6 46.9 72,933.5 52.4
Research In Motion 34,346.6 19.9 23,149.0 16.6
iPhone OS 24,889.8 14.4 11,417.5 8.2
Microsoft Windows Mobile 15,027.6 8.7 16,498.1 11.8
Linux 8,126.5 4.7 10,622.4 7.6
Android 6,798.4 3.9 640.5 0.5
WebOS 1,193.2 0.7 NA NA
Other OSs 1,112.4 0.6 4,026.9 2.9
Total 172,373.1 100.0 139,287.9 100.0

Source: Gartner (February 2010)

IDC is another global IT research and consulting firm.  They use the term ‘converged mobile device’ to refer to a smartphone.  Their main metrics are shipments and market share.  They track both mobile phone and smartphones by OEM.  Their regional scope is typically worldwide aggregated.  Their timeline is by quarter, using current and previous year, with an annual rollup.

The report summaries can be found at their IDC Media Center at  More detailed reports can be obtained by purchase or subscription.

Here are some sample reports.

Top Five Converged Mobile Device Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Q4 2009 (Units in Millions)

Vendor 4Q09 Unit


4Q09 Market Share 4Q08 Unit


4Q08 Market Share 4Q09/4Q08


1. Nokia 20.8 38.2% 15.1 38.5% 37.7%
2. Research In Motion 10.7 19.6% 7.6 19.4% 40.8%
3. Apple 8.7 16.0% 4.4 11.2% 97.7%
4. Motorola 2.5 4.6% 1.6 4.1% 56.3%
5. HTC 2.4 4.4% 2.2 5.6% 9.1%
Others 9.4 17.2% 8.3 21.2% 13.3%
Total 54.5 100.0% 39.2 100.0% 39.0%

Top Five Converged Mobile Device Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, 2009 (Units in Millions)

Vendor 2009 Unit


2009 Market Share 2008 Unit


2008 Market Share 2009/2008 Change
1. Nokia 67.7 38.9% 60.5 40.0% 11.9%
2. Research In Motion 34.5 19.8% 23.6 15.6% 46.2%
3. Apple 25.1 14.4% 13.8 9.1% 81.9%
4. HTC 8.1 4.6% 7.5 5.0% 8.0%
5. Samsung 5.7 3.3% 5.4 3.6% 5.6%
Others 33.1 19.0% 40.6 26.8% -18.5%
Total 174.2 100.0% 151.4 100.0% 15.1%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, February 4, 2010

Note: Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.

Summary Chart:

Info tracked
ABI Research
shipments, market share
OEM worldwide aggregate
Web hits
OS, handset distribution within OS, OEM, specific phones country, worldwide by region, worldwide aggregate
month, quarter, year
shipments, market share OS, OEM worldwide by region, worldwide aggregated
OEM, OS, specific device country
sales, market share
mobile phone and smartphone by OEM, smartphone by OS worldwide aggregated
quarter (OEM), year (OEM, OS)
shipments, market share
mobile phone and smartphones by OEM worldwide aggregated
quarter, year

As you can see, there is a variety of information out there.

The statistic I get asked the most about is the smartphone OS market share (both US and worldwide), so I tend to focus on those metrics.


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One Comment on “Mobile Phone Statistics Resources”

  1. Chris Willis Says:

    Its interesting how the wording/criteria makes each of these slightly different. I understand the different analysts’ need to be individual, but at the end of the day, its a pretty clear story. Symbian and WinMo on the downswing, RIM hanging in, Apple rushing upwards, and Google getting ready to pounce. So if you’re RIM or Apple… cool. If you’re LG, Moto, HTC or Samsung, you’re hoping for Android, but have to be looking at it as a potential new WinMo (fragmented market with light brand “desire”). Interesting times…

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