Mobile device market shows strong year-on-year growth

21 Jul 2004

The market for mobile devices in Europe, the Middle East and Africa grew by 52pc year-on-year for the second quarter, according to new research from Canalys.

Shipments of smartphones and feature phones rose by 57pc while handheld systems increased by 43pc. The voice-centric segment, which includes phone-based devices, actually slowed slightly when compared with the first quarter of this year. However, in numerical terms it still accounts for almost double the amount of handhelds and wireless devices, which are categorised as data-centric machines.

In total, more than 2.5 million devices were shipped from the start of April to the end of June, compared with just under 1.7 million for the same period in 2003. Of this amount, 1,681,210 were mobile phone-based devices; 898,250 were data-centric models. Handheld devices showed respectable growth of 31pc but the converged wireless handheld segment performed better still, up 63pc year on year.

Nokia retained its lead of the entire market with 61pc growth and responsible for more than half of all device shipments in the quarter. This performance is due to its commanding presence in the voice-centric market – it does not figure at all in the top five data-centric category.

In addition, Nokia increased its overall share slightly to 52.4pc from 49.5pc in Q2 last year. In second place overall, Hewlett-Packard shipped 254,300 devices for a 9.9pc share, up from 9.1pc. PalmOne and Sony Ericsson both recorded negative growth for the quarter, the former with 7.8pc share (down from 12.6pc last year) and the latter with 5.8pc, down from 9.7pc. New player Medion attained fifth place, having jumped 103pc from 2003 to grab 3.7pc of the market. One fifth of the market remains fragmented among several different vendors, Canalys found.

Canalys also provides breakdowns for the two main product categories. In the voice-centric space, Nokia is in first place, followed by Sony Ericsson and Siemens. HP retains top spot for data-centric devices, followed by palmOne and Medion.

“This demonstrates that there is still significant potential in the handheld market in EMEA, despite the negative news coming from other worldwide regions,” said Chris Jones, Canalys director and senior analyst. “But clearly not everyone is benefiting in the same way. The less well-known brands, through highly competitive navigation bundles, are taking significant share through retail, while major IT brands, for example Dell and Toshiba, are having little impact.”

By Gordon Smith