Mobile phone shipments show signs of improvement in Q3

The mobile phone market globally turned a corner in the third quarter, with shipments by manufacturers increasing by 5.6% over the previous quarter, market research firm IDC reported.

The mobile phone market globally turned a corner in the third quarter, with shipments by manufacturers increasing by 5.6% over the previous quarter, market research firm IDC reported.

The results for the third quarter were still down by 6% from the same quarter in 2008, but the quarter-to-quarter growth was taken as the first sign of improvement since the onset of the economic downturn, the analyst firm said Thursday.

In all, 287.1 million cell phones and smartphones were shipped in the third quarter, down 6% from the 305.4 million shipped in the third quarter of 2008. Shipments do not necessarily result in sales to end user customers, but indicate that carriers and other retailers are expecting to make sales by ordering from manufacturers.

In the third quarter, various sales channels promoted older devices at lower prices, creating demand that pushed up shipment volumes, said Ramon Llamas, an IDC analyst. Now that we have moved into the fourth quarter, vendors are setting the stage for further gains by launching their flagship devices to meet pent-up demand, he said.

New smartphones, such as the Droid and the Cliq from Motorola which are both based on the Android operating system, are appearing in November in the U.S., for example, IDC noted.

Will Stofega, another IDC analyst, said that the economy is expected to make a slower recovery than many predicted a year ago, but mobile phone manufacturers should still increase their spending on research and development to stay competitive.

IDC assessed market performance in various geographies, noting that North America posted mixed results, with the U.S. showing gains in the quarter, but with Canada declining for the third straight quarter for all mobile phones, even as smartphone shipments increased. Western Europe showed strong signs of recovery, with increases in all devices year-over-year. IDC did not provide specific numbers for various geographies, however.

Latin America and Asia/Pacific performed weaker than other areas. Mexico has experienced an increase in taxes for telecom services, personal taxes and value-added taxes, all of which have a negative impact on mobile phone sales.

Market leader Nokia once again led for all types of mobile phone shipments, with 108.5 million shipped, a decline of 8% over third quarter 2008. The Finnish company took 37.8% share of the market.

Samsung finished second with 21% market share; LG Electronics finished third with 11%; Sony Ericsson was fourth with 4.9%; and Motorola was fifth with 4. All other manufacturers combined to account for 59 million mobile phones shipped, or 20.6% of the market.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MotorolaApplesamsunglgSony Ericssonmobile phonessmartphonesNokia

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?