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Mobile handset sales poised to rebound during 2010

24 февраля 2010

Sales of mobile handsets fell nearly 1 per cent in 2009, their first decline eight years, as consumers cut back on spending during the downturn. However, analysts expect the market to rebound in 2010, with growth of 11 to 13 per cent.

Gartner, the technology research company, had previously forecast 9 per cent growth for this year, but increased its numbers after a surge in consumer spending in the fourth quarter. Sales of mobile handsets in the final quarter were up 8.3 per cent on the previous year.

“People are being a little less careful than at the end of last year, and there is a bigger variety of phones on the market to tempt them,” said Carolina Milanesi, analyst at Gartner.

However, Ms Milanesi warned that average selling prices for phones would remain under pressure because of intense competition in the market. Average selling prices fell about 10 per cent in 2009, and are expected to fall about 4 per cent this year.

Samsung, Apple and Google’s mobile phone operating system, Android, emerged as the biggest winners of 2009, making strong market share gains, while Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson all lost ground.

Korean Samsung, which has blitzed the market with a huge variety of handsets, saw its global market share increase to 19.5 per cent from 16.3 per cent the previous year. Nokia’s market share dipped to 36.4 per cent, a level last seen in 2006.

Sony Ericsson and Motorola both saw their market shares dip below 5 per cent. Ms Milanesi said the companies would be hard pressed to stay among the top five global vendors this year.

“There was only a couple of million difference in unit sales between Motorola and RIM in the fourth quarter. Motorola is not too far from being overtaken,” Ms Milanesi said.

Sales of smartphones, such as the Apple iPhone, continued to see strong growth last year. Some 172.4m smartphones were sold last year, a 23.8 per cent increase from 2008. They now make up 14 per cent of all handsets sold.

Apple increased its share of the smartphone market by 6.2 percentage points, ousting Microsoft from the third place position. Microsoft is trying to make up for lost ground by the launch of a new operating system at the Mobile World Congress trade show this month.

Phones using the Android operating system also saw a big surge, moving to 3.9 per cent market share, from only 0.5 in 2008. A majority of these sales came in the fourth quarter.

Smartphones based on Nokia’s Symbian operating system were still market leaders, but saw their share slip to 46.9 per cent from 52.4 per cent. This month Nokia and Intel unveiled plans for a new operating system for smartphones in an attempt to catch up with Apple and Google.

Источник: Financial Times

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