GLOBUL smartphone sales for the fourth quarter of 2010 marked a 77% year-on-year increase. Total GLOBUL smartphone sales for the year increased by 52%, representing 15% of all handsets sold in GLOBUL, GERMANOS and official partner shops. As of the end of 2010, the share of smartphones of the total number of handsets, operating in GLOBUL network reached 7%.
The rise in smartphone sales in 2010 stems both from the increase of the number of affordable models and from the attractive GLOBUL subscription plans featuring mobile internet bundles, making data services available to larger number of clients. All this gives GLOBUL reason to expect even stronger growth in smartphone sales in 2011.
Sales data showed that in 2010 the most popular among Bulgarian consumers were smartphones in the BGN 300-400 price range that allow download and use of various mobile applications and feature at least 3 MP-camera, memory enhancement option, touchscreen and music player. In the same time, consumer interest in hi-end, premium class devices continued to grow in 2010, powered by the attractive GLOBUL leasing offers, Mr. Mihnev added.
In terms of operational systems, Symbian, Android, iOS, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry continue to hold their overall leading positions. The global trend for growth in sales of Android-powered handsets was seen in Bulgaria as well and by the end of the 2010 every fouth smartphone sold had this OS running on it. The extremely good results of the two GLOBUL Q1 Android smartphones were also in line with this trend.
The success of Samsung's bada OS deserves special attention as this system reached share of 5% with just three models, two of them premiered in the end of the year. The launch of Windows Mobile 7 in the end of the year must also be marked as all devices with that OS delivered to GLOBUL commercial network were sold almost immediately.
The availability of a multitude of affordable smartphone models and of attractive subscription programs that facilitate access to data transfer services led to a remarkable 234% growth in mobile internet usage in GLOBUL network.
GLOBUL usage data showed that clients use mobile internet services mostly for browsing (39% of all the total traffic), internet video (31%), and file sharing, including torrent, FTP and Skype file sharing (20%) and, to a lesser extent, for VoIP and IM services (5%). Social networks claim undisputed leadership in popularity, with location based services also growing in terms of public interest.