Mobile phone shipments headed for 1 billion this year

Cell phone shipments soared in the first quarter and should reach 1 billion this year, analysts said.

Mobile phone shipments worldwide grew 31 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier and will reach 1 billion this year, according to a report by research company Strategy Analytics.

The strong year-over-year increase was driven largely by demand in emerging markets such as India and Brazil. Growth was at its highest pace in almost two years, Strategy Analytics said. The projected 1 billion shipments for this calendar year would represent an increase of 22 percent from the 2005 annual total of 817 million.

The boom in sales surprised Strategy Analytics, which has been tracking mobile phone sales for about 25 years, because the first quarter is typically weak, analyst Chris Ambrosio said. Strong sales of replacement phones in developed markets, plus rapid adoption of mobile phones by new users in developing countries, drove the growth. Based on the first quarter result, 1 billion shipments for the whole year should be a conservative estimate, Ambrosio said.

Total shipments in the first quarter were 229 million units. However, the high volume didn't translate into better profits for some phone makers, according to Strategy Analytics. Competing for sales in low-cost markets put pressure on Motorola, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, the company said.

Nokia, the global volume leader, shipped 75.1 million handsets in the quarter, up from 53.8 million a year earlier, and saw its market share grow slightly to 32.8 percent from 30.9 percent. However, runner-up Motorola saw a bigger gain in share, to 20.1 percent from 16.5 percent. Motorola shipped 46.1 million units, up from 28.7 million. Samsung, in third place, saw shipments grow but market share fall to 12.7 percent from 14.1 percent. LG and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications rounded out the top five manufacturers.

Despite the growing demand for low-priced phones, handsets equipped with digital cameras are moving into the majority, according to Ambrosio. About half of all handsets shipped last year had cameras, and that share is expected to be about two-thirds this year, he said.

Handsets for 3G (third-generation) mobile data networks are still a small part of the market but growing fast, Ambrosio said. Strategy Analytics reported shipments of 44 million UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) and 19 million EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) handsets in 2005. It projects 90 million UMTS and 38 million EV-DO phones to ship this year.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?