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US Q2 mobile phone shipments rise 5.3%

12 августа 2008

Motorola clings to its number one position in U.S. handset market while RIM makes double-digit gains.

Strategy Analytics, an independent consulting firm, said 41.9 million cellphones were shipped in the quarter, up from 39.8 million a year earlier. Analyst Bonny Joy noted the prominence of all-inclusive plans, as well as new handset launches that kept consumer replacements at "a healthy level."

Some industry watchers had expected shipments to drop, as consumers faced inflation and tried to reduce spending on luxury items. But even with a market that is at 80% saturation, consumers are buying replacement phones, which have become a key sales target. With phones becoming flashier by the week, phone companies have had to fight to keep customers coming for their products, and some have fared better than others.

Motorola Inc. managed to cling to its lead in
U.S. market share at 26%, when many thought it would fall from that perch. Its cellphone unit posted a wider loss of $346 million in the second quarter, and the company has said it plans to split off its handset unit from its other operations, which were profitable enough to offset cellphone losses in the quarter.

Neil Mawston, director at Strategy Analytics, commented that "Motorola is not yet out of the woods, but these are encouraging, early signs of stabilization."

Globally, the company has seen its market share fall to third from first since 2006. Some were surprised it even held onto to that spot, as fourth-in-line LG Electronics Co. has climbed within two percentage points and appears poised to overtake the sinking giant.

South Korea
's LG made a return to No. 2 in the U.S. market as it sold 16.8 million phones in the first half of the year and aims to hold 22% of the market by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Research In Motion Ltd.'s Blackberry phones gained a double-digit market share for the first time in the
U.S. as the Canadian firm continues to increase the number of handsets it offers.

Overall, the quarter appeared better than expected for phone makers as worldwide leader Nokia Corp. reported a large jump in sales while Samsung Electronics Co. said its handset sales helped boost its profit 51%.

Источник: Total Telecom

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