Handset sales beat expectations

3 Jun 2003

The mobile phone industry experienced better than expected sales in the first quarter of this year, according to figures from Gartner. Worldwide mobile phone unit sales totalled 112.7m units, an 18pc increase from the first quarter of 2002.

“The mobile handset industry rode the crest of a wave of robust replacement demand to realize record levels of sales to end-users for the first quarter,” said Bryan Prohm, senior analyst with the mobile communications worldwide research group for Gartner. “Significant demand was recorded across all geographical regions during the quarter, and annualised sales trends based on these results suggests the market could be on pace for a double-digit rate increase for the full calendar year.”

Once again, Nokia was the big winner when it came to the breakdown. With a current market share of 35pc, it has almost double the share of its nearest competitor. The Finnish manufacturer experienced a 20.9pc increase in sales over the first quarter of 2002.

Motorola remains in the second spot, but the figures brought some bad news for the company. Its market share has declined to 14.7pc from 17.6pc. Sales were down by 1.4pc.

Korean manufacturer Samsung, although not a strong presence in Ireland, continued to perform exceptionally well on the global stage. Still number three on the league table, its market share grew from 9.3pc to 10.5pc. Sales grew by an impressive 33.6pc. Siemens, meanwhile, remains at number four with a sales growth of 5.7pc.

The decline of Sony Ericsson continues. The joint venture’s market share is now down to 4.8pc, compared to 6.3pc in the corresponding quarter of last year. Sales declined by 10.3pc. According to Gartner, LG, another Korean manufacturer, is now threatening Sony Ericsson for fifth position in the market.

By Dick O’Brien