Global mobile shipments
up 16.3pc

29 Jul 2005

Nokia remains the world’s No 1 maker of mobile phones in terms of shipments with a 32.2pc share of the global market, followed by Motorola with 18pc and Samsung with 12.9pc. Indicating signs of recovery in the global mobile market, tech analyst IDC said the popularity of entry-level phones has led demand.

According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, worldwide mobile phone shipments totaled 188.7 million units in the second quarter, increasing 7.3pc sequentially and 16.3pc from the same quarter one year ago.

Among the leading vendors, Nokia maintained its leadership, nearly doubling the shipments of its closest competitor and continuing its string of consecutive quarters with market share greater than 30pc. US-based Motorola finished the quarter solidly in second place and combined with Nokia the two represent half the market.

In addition, Motorola improved its lead over Samsung by nearly 10 million units. Samsung’s growth was flat from the previous quarter, but the vendor nearly reached the halfway point of 50 million units in its quest to ship 100 million units this year. Finishing fourth was LG Electronics, although only 300,000 units separate it from fifth place Sony Ericsson. Last quarter, 1.7 million units separated the two vendors.

“The emphasis on entry-level phones demonstrates that vendors are keying in on specific regional and customer needs. Although this helps volumes, it also puts downward pressure on average selling prices and vendor profitability,” said Ramon Llamas, research analyst for IDC’s Mobility Group.

“Despite all the interest and excitement over cutting-edge devices, there continues to be a demand for simple voice-only phones that appeal to broad customer segments, even in mature markets such as North America.”

Within developing markets, vendors are eager to supply phones to reach different customer segments. Aloysius Choong, research analyst for IDC Asia/Pacific, explained: “Much has been made about the enormous potential of developing markets, but heavily-populated cities in these countries have already been largely tapped despite the relatively low penetration rates overall.

“Affordable handsets thus help sustain subscriber growth by reaching into the less-populated cities and rural regions.” Similarly, regions such as Latin America, the Middle East and Africa have benefited from vendors’ increased production of entry-level phones.

By John Kennedy