Wed, Sep 12, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Handset shipments dip on weaker iPhone sales: IDC

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taiwanese handset shipments dropped 10 percent sequentially last quarter after smartphone shipments plunged 13.9 percent as demand for Apple Inc’s iPhones weakened ahead of the launch of a new model, market researcher International Data Corp (IDC) said yesterday.

Overall, mobile phone shipments shrank to 1.99 million in the quarter ending June 30, compared with 2.21 million in the first quarter, IDC said, blaming seasonal slow demand. Smartphone shipments last quarter plummeted to 1.42 million units, accounting for 70 percent of total handset shipments.

On an annual basis, handset shipments slipped 0.3 percent, while smartphone shipments expanded 43.6 percent, according to IDC’s statistics.

“In addition to seasonal slow demand, a sharp decline in Apple’s iPhone is the main reason for the bigger-than-expected quarterly contraction,” IDC analyst Joey Yen (嚴蘭欣) wrote in a report.

iPhone shipments sank more than 80 percent quarter-on-quarter, or more than 300,000 units, she said.

“There was inventory digestion on the supply channel, followed by the record-high iPhone shipments in the first quarter, before the new iPhone launches,” Yen said.

Apple’s competitors also rolled out smartphones with a bigger screen than the iPhone’s 3.5-inch panel, cutting iPhone demand last quarter, she said.

Last week, Samsung Electronics Co said it had sold 20 million units of its Galaxy S III smartphone globally since its launch in May, making the smartphone the best seller in the company’s history. The smartphone is powered by the Android operating system and equipped with a 4.8-inch screen.

The contraction in iPhone shipments drove the market share of the iOS software that powers the iPhone down to 5.2 percent last quarter, while boosting the Android system, supported by search engine giant Google Inc, to an all-time high of 92.7 percent, IDC said.

Microsoft Corp’s Windows Phone system’s market share fell to 1 percent last quarter from 1.4 percent in the first quarter, as Nokia Oyj’s new Windows-based smartphone failed to fuel demand.

Because Apple is scheduled to launch its new iPhone tomorrow, Yen said it would be a big challenge for the Android system to safeguard its share of the local smartphone market.

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