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Western European mobile phone market shows signs of recovery, but still expected to shrink in 2009

21 сентября 2009

According to the IDC European Mobile Phone Tracker, handset vendors shipped 42 million units to Western Europe, down 6% from 2Q08. The second quarter results are an improvement on the 14% decrease in 1Q09, but the crisis will continue to impact the region, says IDC.

According to IDC, the switch from traditional mobile phones to converged mobile devices continued to be a major trend in Western Europe. Traditional mobile phones declined 12% during the quarter to 33.2 million units, and converged mobile devices (ie smartphones) experienced a healthy 25% increase during the quarter to 8.8 million units, when compared to the same period last year.

"The first six months of the year were very challenging to both vendors and operators in Western Europe. The market was hit hard by the financial crisis, and demand mobile for phones slumped as never experienced before," said Francisco Jeronimo, European mobile devices research manager, IDC. "Since 2Q08 the market has been suffering from negative growth, with the bottom line being hit in 1Q09. Despite the slight improvement in the second quarter of 2009, we will continue to see negative growth throughout the coming quarters, with full market recovery being seen only in 2011."

For the full year, IDC says it believes that the Western European market will decline 10%. Demand for converged mobile devices will continue to grow, but will not be strong enough to reverse the overall market decline as they represent only 21% of total shipments. On the other hand, traditional mobile phones will continue to decline, though at a lower rate, as vendors adjust their portfolios, bringing more features to the low-end devices.

Among the biggest handset vendors, it is important to point out that Korean manufacturers continue to perform better than Scandinavian phone makers, says IDC. For the first time, Samsung and LG together shipped more devices to Western Europe than Nokia. Nokia continues to be the market leader, with 36.3% market share, but the gap to Samsung, the second biggest vendor with 28.9% market share, continues to diminish. On the other hand, LG continues to challenge Sony Ericsson's market position, and the success of its touch screen handsets allowed LG to get 11.5% market share, the highest ever in Western Europe, says IDC.

Источник: Mobile Europe

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