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Worldwide Mobile Phone Sales Grow 26% In 3rd Quarter ! - 12/1/2004 8:09:44 PM   

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According to Gartner strong North American sales led to a surprisingly strong third quarter this year, and also allowed several manufacturers to move up the sales scale.

Worldwide mobile phone sales grew to over 167 million units in quarter 3 of 2004 according to research firm Garter, a 26% increase from the same quarter last year.

Unusually strong sales, particularly in North America, reaffirmed several market leaders but undermined others. Nokia in particular just barly captured 30% of the market for the first time since last quarter. That is still a drop from its 34% of sales for the same quarter last year. Samsung, buoyed by a diverse set of handsets in multiple markets, also surpassed Motorola by only a few thousand units to take the number two spot worldwide away from Motorola with 13.8 % of the market to Motorola's 13.4%. Siemens came in at fourth place with 7.6%, while LG recaptured the 5th place position from Sony Ericsson, 6.7% to 6.4%, respectively.

Despite Samsung's surge, Motorola remains the top phone manufacturer for North America. It's iDEN (Integrated Digital Enhanced Network) phones in particular sold well, as the company has a near-monopoly on the few networks using that technology. Siemens, however, nearly doubled its North American marketshare, while LG saw very strong growth in North America as well as strong relative sales in 3G markets in Western Europe.

In all, North American sales alone grew 22.6% from quarter 3 2003 to quarter 3 2004. Much of those sales were new and first-time mobile phone buyers wooed by new promotions and new handset models. Western European sales were driven mostly by existing users upgrading to newer models as prices came down. Latin America, however, had the strongest growth with a 66% year on year growth in sales to 17.2 million phones sold. Brazil and Mexico were the leading growth markets as the price per phone steadily dropped there as well.

India, the Philippines, and China drove Asia Pacific growth as carriers offered incentives for existing users to switch networks and lowered prices on handsets. Hong Kong and Australian operators both made heavy subsidies on phone prices to drive WCDMA 3G sales. The one weak spot was Japan, which saw a 12.8% drop in sales from the same quarter in 2003. Garnter believes that is due to camera phone sales peaking last year in Japan. Handset makers there are also trying to cope with lower profit margins on 3G handsets over 2G handsets, as Japan has been one of the fastest adopters of 3G technology.

Source : InfoSyncWorld
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