More than 300 million mobile phones were shipped during the fourth quarter of 2007, a milestone for the industry.
In total 334 million handsets shipped in Q4 of 2007, a new record according to analyst firm IDC, up from 15.3pc over the last quarter.
For the entire year total shipments reached 1,114.1 million units, representing annual growth of 12.4pc.
Nokia was once again the lead vendor in shipments. Samsung supplanted Motorola in the No 2 spot.
“Give credit to Samsung for taking the No 2 position worldwide from Motorola,” said Ramon Llamas, research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team. “For the past few years, Samsung’s growth kept pace with the market, but in 2007 the company beat the market almost by a factor of four.
“Samsung capitalised on replacement handset opportunities in the US and Europe with a steady stream of mid-range and high-end devices, while Motorola spent much of the year addressing inventory challenges across EMEA and Asia,” he added. “Now that Motorola is implementing a new handset strategy, it will be interesting to watch the hotly contested No 2 position in 2008.”
Sony Ericsson and LG Electronics stayed in the fourth and fifth spots respectively.
Despite the increase in shipments during Q4 of 2007, growth in the industry overall dropped to 11.6pc, down from the figures of between 18pc and 30pc that had been recorded over the past three years. IDC speculated that the high watermark for growth in the sector has come and gone.
“The expectation that the market would maintain the level of growth it saw over the last three years was unrealistic. We expect growth to be in the single digits throughout 2008, and most likely for years to follow,” said Ryan Reith, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker.
By Niall Byrne