Sat, Aug 26, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Motorola trims Nokia market share

POPULAR DESIGNS The US phone manufacturer's market share rose on the strength of its new models and will start challenging its rival's dominance in Asia

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Motorola Inc, the world's second-largest cellphone maker, took market share from its larger competitor Nokia Oyj in the second quarter, helped by sales of the Razr, Slvr and Ming models, a study showed.

Motorola's market share rose to 21.9 percent, the highest level in more than five years, from 20.3 percent in the first quarter, researcher Gartner Inc said in a release it e-mailed yesterday.

Nokia's share fell to 33.6 percent from 34 percent.

Schaumburg, Illinois-based Motorola's unit sales growth has outpaced that of Nokia for five straight quarters. Motorola was also the fastest-growing handset maker in the last three months.

The company's 0.84mm-thick Motofone, shipping next month, will help Motorola challenge the dominance of Nokia in markets such as India and China, said Carolina Milanesi, a Gartner analyst.

"Motorola gained across the board," Milanesi said.

"The Razr is coming down in price and broadening its target market, and the Motofone combines usability and design at an affordable price," he said.

Global cellphone unit sales rose 18 percent in the second quarter to 229 million units from a year earlier, Stamford, Connecticut-based Gartner said.

Sales this year will probably gain 18 percent to 960 million units from 817 million units sold last year, up from 674 million units in 2004, it said.

In the second quarter, Motorola sold 50.2 million phones, up 46 percent from 34.3 million a year earlier, Gartner said.

The Razr and Slvr lured buyers in the US and Europe, while the Ming camera phone boosted demand in China, Milanesi said.

Unit sales at Nokia rose to 77.1 million in the second quarter from 61.2 million a year earlier, Gartner said.

Nokia lost market share and one place in the ranking in North America, dropping to the No. 3 position, Milanesi said.

Motorola is the market leader in North America, followed by Samsung Electronics Co.

The market share of South Korea-based Samsung, the third-largest handset maker globally, slipped to 11.1 percent from 12.5 percent in the first quarter.

"Nokia and Motorola continue to consolidate their market positions," Milanesi said.

"Samsung needs to focus on design. They are very good at technology," he said.

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications Ltd, the handset joint venture of Sony Corp and Ericsson AB, overtook LG Electronics Inc to claim the No. 4 position. Sony Ericsson's market share rose to 6.7 percent from 6.1 percent in the first quarter. LG's market share fell to 6.3 percent from 6.5.

Motorola shares fell US$0.11 to US$22.80 at 4:22pm in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock's price has changed little this year. Nokia shares, up 5.5 percent this year, fell to 16.30 euros in Helsinki.

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