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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?