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IDC says 100.9M smartphones sold in fourth quarter, PCs outsold for first time

Chris Ziegler
02.08.11
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In case you had any lingering doubt that the smartphone is the new personal computer, just take a glance at IDC's new global smartphone sales numbers for the fourth quarter of 2010 where we learn that some 100.9 million units were pushed in the three-month period -- up a whopping 87.9 percent year over year. That figure compares to 92.1 million PCs sold during the same quarter, which, though a record for the PC industry, was left in the dust of the smartphone's stratospheric rise. This marks the very first quarter in history that smartphones have outsold traditional computers -- and considering the trajectories that both industries are in, we'd be surprised if they ever flip-flopped again. If anything, IDC and other analysis firms might need to readjust the nomenclature in their reports in a few years if (or when) convergence platforms like the Atrix 4G with its Laptop Dock start to gain traction. Of course, to Bill Gates and others, this technological cross-pollination comes as no surprise -- and really, who can argue with a handheld that's packing PC power?

Update: It's also worth pointing out that IDC is still calling Symbian "the market leader" seemingly discounting Canalys' assertion that Android has overtaken Nokia's smartphone OS globally. Guess it all depends upon how your define "smartphone," eh?

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