Smartphones are Taking Over the World

According to research firm Gartner, global smartphone sales in the fourth quarter surged ahead by 47.3 percent over 2010 levels to 149 million units. On an annual basis 2011 smartphone sales were up by 58 percent at 472 million units.

The main contributor to the astonishing growth was the record-breaking sales by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones taking it to the number three spot in overall mobile phone sales. Apple achieved pole position in smartphone sales – it had a 23.8 percent market share in the fourth quarter and 19 percent across 2011 as a whole. “Western Europe and North America led most of the smartphone growth for Apple during the fourth quarter of 2011,” said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner. “In Western Europe the spike in iPhone sales in the fourth quarter saved the overall smartphone market after two consecutive quarters of slow sales.”

A look at the market shares (all mobiles) reveals that major losers of market shares in both the fourth quarter and overall 2011 were Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and LG – while Apple and Samsung added on market share.

Smartphone analysis, available for the fourth quarter segregated by operating system, reveals that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android and iOs crushed the market – increasing shares from 30.5 percent to 50.9 percent and from 15.8 percent to 23.8 percent, respectively. Symbian and RIM (NASDAQ:RIMM) simply fell by the wayside under the onslaught, collectively losing all of 27 percent in market share.

Here’s how these stocks are reacting to the news:

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): AAPL shares recently traded at $515.69, up $6.23, or 1.22%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $310.50 to $509.56. Volume today was 23,658,804 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 12,486,500 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 14.89, while trailing earnings are $35.14 per share.

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK): NOK shares recently traded at $5.17, up $0.04, or 0.78%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $4.46 to $9.42. Volume today was 9,459,231 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 30,606,000 shares. The company’s trailing earnings are $-0.41 per share.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG): GOOG shares recently traded at $609.82, up $0.06, or 0.01%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $473.02 to $670.25. Volume today was 1,143,984 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 2,932,740 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 20.50, while trailing earnings are $29.76 per share.

Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM): RIMM shares recently traded at $14.96, up $0.39, or 2.68%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $12.45 to $70.54. Volume today was 15,894,449 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 23,671,900 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 3.56, while trailing earnings are $4.25 per share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Capel at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com