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Mobile phones see slower growth

29 августа 2008

The economic slowdown is still hurting the global handset market, research firm Gartner Inc. said in its quarterly report on the industry.

About 304.7 million mobile phones were sold in the second quarter -- a 12% jump from a year earlier -- thanks to growing sales in emerging markets. Still, that is a slowdown from the second quarter of 2007, when the number of mobile phones sold had jumped 21% from a year earlier. Carolina Milanesi, research director for mobile devices at Gartner, warned that greater competition and a weakening economy are causing users to wait before buying new phones.

For the full year, Gartner said it expects handset sales to grow 11% to 1.28 billion phones, slowing from last year's 16% growth.

Sales in
India, the Middle East and Africa remained strong, said Gartner, while Eastern Europe, China and some Latin American countries saw slower growth.

"The economic environment continued to negatively impact mobile-phone sales in both mature and emerging markets," Ms. Milanesi said.

Facing rising costs for fuel and food and generally higher levels of inflation, many consumers shied away from replacing old handsets or opted for midtier rather than high-end devices, Ms. Milanesi said.

An exception to this trend were smart phones like Apple Inc.'s iPhone, which have wireless Internet capacity. Gartner expects the global smart-phone market to grow 52% to 190 million devices, reaching a market share of 15% or about $65 billion.

's Nokia Corp. remained the top-selling mobile-phone company, with sales of 120.4 million handsets in the second quarter. It increased its global market share to 39.5% from 36.7% a year earlier.

Samsung Electronics remained in second place. The South Korean company sold 45.7 million phones, expanding its market share to 15.2% from 13.3% in 2007.

Motorola Inc., on the other hand, saw a sharp drop in its market share, to 10% from 14.5% after selling 30.4 million handsets. The Schaumburg,
Ill., company might have to lower its prices since it lacks competitive features on its devices, Ms. Milanesi said.

South Korea
's LG Electronics boosted its market share to 8.8% from 6.8%, putting Sony Ericsson, the joint venture between Japan-based Sony Corp. and Sweden-based Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson, in fifth place. Sony Ericsson's share of the global handset market fell to 7.5% from 8.9% a year earlier.

Источник: Total Telecom

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