Q2 mobile shipments soar


23 Jul 2003

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Europe’s mobile device market showed high growth as shipments for Q2 2003 jumped 239pc year-on-year, new research from Canalys has shown. Smart phones are responsible for much of the increase, but the handheld market has also recovered and has posted its highest growth for two years.

Canalys’ latest research found that 1,695,950 mobile devices were shipped in the quarter in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), compared with 500,400 for the same period last year. Nokia, Palm and Sony Ericsson hold the top three positions respectively; Nokia accounted for 838,650 units or 49pc of the market, followed by Palm (210,850, 12pc) and Sony Ericsson (164,750, 10pc).

All of the top three shifted substantially more products than they did for the same period last year, Sony Ericsson performed best with 4731pc growth year on year; helped, it should be said, by having supplied just 3,410 devices last year. Nokia rose by 1316pc with a substantial jump in its unit shipments. Palm shipped 45pc more units than it did in Q2 2002 but last year its market share was higher at 29pc.

Nokia continues to dominate the voice-centric part of the market (smart phones and feature phones), with 78pc share of that segment, followed by Sony Ericsson on 15pc, and Orange with the Microsoft OS powered SPV in third place on 5pc. Canalys observed that the sustained shipments of the two smart phone leaders make Q2 2003 the first quarter where more than a million devices running the Symbian OS were shipped in EMEA region.

The data-centric segment covers handheld and wireless handheld systems. There, Palm retained its lead with a 34pc share, similar to its position of a year ago, but with shipments up 45pc. Canalys commented that the company has a better range of products than at any time in its history. HP was in second place with 25pc share, but it lost ground, having grown its shipments by just 2pc year-on-year. However Canalys said it expects HP to have a better third quarter as it releases new models on to the market.

“Shipments of the high-end phones are growing in line with our forecasts,” said Canalys director and senior analyst Chris Jones, “and while the camera is still the main attraction for many, users will increasingly take advantage of the other data features. The Sony Ericsson P800 is very clearly a converged voice and data device, and with operator subsidies lowering the purchase price, is proving very appealing to those who like the idea of having just one device for mobile communications and organiser-type applications. The challenge for the whole mobile market is to extend consumer usage of these devices beyond the traditional phone and handhelds applications, and this quarter, in Medion, we have seen a good example of one possible direction for the handheld segment.”

Medion was the highest placed new market entrant in Q2, with a €499 bundle based around its Pocket PC handheld, a GPS module and Tele Atlas navigation software, sold through the Aldi retail chain in Germany.

By Gordon Smith