Mobile phone shipments for 2009 are expected to be down 9.1pc on 2008, according to the latest report (Mobile phone forecast pack 2008-2014) by analyst firm Ovum.
However, the report is not all bad news, as is predicts that shipments will begin to pick up again in 2010, with global volumes bouncing back to 2008 levels by 2012.
One of the casualties of the current economic downturn has been the mid-level handset market, as manufacturers focused on targeting the low and high-end market segments over the past while.
“This has had a polarising effect on the handset market, with vendors and mobile operators focusing on two types of handset: those targeting the low-end and high-end segments”, said Adam Leach, devices principal analyst at Ovum and co-author of the forecast.
“This, in turn, has quickened the replacement of 2G in favour of 3G handsets, with high-end 2G handset shipments suffering the most from the shift.”
Mobile phone shipments will grow at a compound annual rate of 1.9pc to reach 1.4 billion units shipped by 2014 Ovum predicts, and this will be mostly due to the growth in emerging market such as Asia-Pacific.
“Connection growth in these regions is still fuelling handset shipments; however, shipment growth will trend below connection growth due to a strong second-hand market in these regions,” added Leach.
By Marie Boran
Pictured: manufacturers have been focusing on the upper end of the handset market during the recent downturn, producing handsets such as LG’s fancy new GD900