Fri, May 07, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Global handset shipments to rise 12 percent in 2004

BLOOMBERG

Worldwide mobile-phone shipments will rise 12 percent this year as the number of cellular subscribers reaches 1.5 billion, market researcher IDC said.

Nokia Oyj, Motorola Inc, Samsung Electronics Co and their competitors will sell a combined 595 million phones this year, IDC said in an e-mailed statement. In February, the researcher estimated that 533.4 million phones were sold last year.

Handset sales are rising as consumers in Europe and the US upgrade to camera phones and countries such as India and China add subscribers. Industry shipments jumped 29.3 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, benefiting Motorola and Samsung as market leader Nokia lost market share, IDC said.

"As carriers looked for alternative sources to fill consumer demand, vendors such as Motorola and Samsung were able to gain significant market share at Nokia's expense," IDC analysts Alex Slawsby and David Linsalata wrote in the report.

Nokia saw its market share shrink to 29.3 percent from 34.1 percent in last year's fourth quarter, according to the release. Nokia, the biggest handset maker since 1998, lost out because it lacked enough "mid-range" phones, the analysts wrote.

Motorola, the second-largest handset maker, boosted its market share to 16.6 percent from 13.9 percent in the previous three months. Samsung, the third-largest, saw its share rise to 13.1 percent, IDC said without giving a fourth-quarter figure.

The mobile-phone market will continue to expand in coming years, with about 800 million phones shipping annually "towards the end of the decade," Slawsby and Linsalata said.

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