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28 January 2008


Handset shipments up in ‘07, but ‘08 forecast cut

Fourth-quarter 2007 mobile device sales should reach the forecast of 342 million devices, taking the yearly total to 1.15 billion (up 15.8% on 2006), says ABI Research VP Jake Saunders, after assessing vendors’ latest results in the report ‘Mobile Devices Market Sizing and Share’. “Many economic sectors are struggling and there are fears that the global market might mimic the downturn in the USA, but virtually all the mobile device vendors experienced very festive cheer in Q4/2007.”

However, taking into account the growing sense of global economic uncertainty, ABI Research has reduced its 2008 handset market growth forecast from 13.5% to 12%, adds research director Stuart Carlaw.

Motorola was the only vendor not to enjoy the fruits of 2007. By its own admission, Motorola’s market share shrank 38% year-on-year from 23.3% to 12.4%. Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung and LG were net beneficiaries.

Motorola declares that its market share in Q1/2008 looks set to decline further, but it is fighting back. It has been beefing up its mobile device portfolio and some of its new handset models such as the ROKR E8 have received awards from key trade shows. Also, Motorola reduced its presence in a number of emerging ultra-low-cost handset markets, while Nokia, Samsung, LG, and Chinese vendors such as ZTE and Huawei are pulling out the stops to address them, says ABI.

The market research firm reckons that North America (and to a lesser extent South America) is the chink in Nokia’s armor. North American carriers require more customization, exclusive sales periods, and personalization to appeal to their customers. Despite repeated declarations from senior management that Nokia will recover its position in the North American market, it has so far failed to do so, notes ABI.

See related items:

Q3 cell-phone shipments of 285m led by Nokia in emerging entry-level GSM markets and Samsung in 3G

Global cell phone shipments show slight increase, as Samsung grabs second largest vendor title from Motorola

Handset sales to grow 4% through to 2012

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