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Mobile device vendors hit by price slide in Q2

13 августа 2010

The average selling price for mobile devices fell in the second quarter of this year as competition between handset makers intensified, Gartner reported on Thursday.

However, that ASP decline helped fuel strong growth in the global handset market in volume terms, with sales to end users reaching 325.6 million units in Q2, up 13.8% on the same quarter last year.

The analyst firm's latest numbers also showed that Taiwan's HTC broke into the top 10 device makers for the first time during the quarter; Android overtook Apple in the smartphone operating system rankings; and Nokia's weaknesses at the top end of the market caused further market share erosion.

"We attribute the decline in ASPs to a stronger dollar, a depreciating euro, and intense competition that drove price adjustments and changes to the product mix," Gartner research vice president Carolina Milanesi said in a statement. Milanesi noted that ASPs came in lower than expected and that vendors also suffered falling margins.

Gartner pointed out that South Korean vendors Samsung and LG both targeted the low end of the market in a bid to boost market share. This proved costly for LG in particular, which saw its ASP drop by 27.8% in Q2 and in fact failed to stem its market share decline. LG holds on to the number three spot in the global rankings, but its share slipped to 9% from 10.7% a year earlier. Samsung meanwhile increased its share to 20.1% from 19.3%, selling over 65 million handsets during the quarter, consolidating its number two position.

Market leader Nokia lost more than two percentage points of share, its 111.47 million unit sales giving it 34.2% of the market. According to Gartner, the Finnish vendor's economies of scale and its distribution network enabled it to keep its top spot, but its weakness at the high-end hit its market share.

"Nokia's senior executives need to do more to attract developers and other ecosystem member by revising its platform strategy and improving its communications," Gartner said.

Nokia's weaknesses are further highlighted by the performance of its Symbian operating system.

End users bought 25.39 million smartphones based on the Symbian OS in Q2, up from 20.88 million in the year-ago quarter but representing a smaller proportion of the market; Symbian's share of the smartphone space fell to 41.2% in Q2 from 51% 12 months earlier.

Meanwhile, major rival Android is seeing its share rocket. The Google-backed operating system claimed 17.2% of the market in Q2 from just 1.8% a year ago, propelling it into third place ahead of Apple's iPhone OS. RIM remains at number two, its share sliding slightly to 18.2% from 19%.

However, on the devices side RIM lifted its share to 3.4% (from 2.7%), selling 11.23 million BlackBerries in Q2, up from 7.68 million a year earlier. That leaves it in fourth place, just ahead of Sony Ericsson, which sold 11.01 million phones, down by more than 2.5 million on-year.

But Gartner expressed some doubt over RIM's new handset, the BlackBerry Torch, which was unveiled last week.

"The Torch's form factor will still appeal to more business users than to consumers and will stop many loyal BlackBerry users defecting to other platforms, but it won't attract many new users to the brand," the firm said.

Lower down the rankings, sixth-placed Motorola again saw its market share fall, the 9.11 million devices it sold in Q2 giving it a 2.8% share. However, Apple, HTC and ZTE – in seventh, eighth and ninth respectively – all grew their shares. Indeed, HTC broke into the top 10 for the first time in Q2 due to the strength of its Android portfolio and an aggressive branding strategy.

Источник: Total Telecom

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