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Fri, Dec 03, 2004 - Page 12 News List

Nokia builds on market share lead

BLOOMBERG

Nokia Oyj extended its lead in the global mobile-telephone market for a second straight quarter, boosted by new models and price cuts, Gartner Inc said. Samsung Electronics Co overtook Motorola Inc as the No. 2 handset maker for the first time.

Nokia's share of the market rose to 30.9 percent in the third quarter, Gartner said in a statement today. Samsung's share rose to 13.8 percent and Motorola dropped to 13.4 percent.

Phone makers benefited from better-than-expected sales of 167.1 million handsets in the period, Stamford, Connecticut-based Gartner said. Espoo, Finland-based Nokia sliced prices and introduced new clamshell-style phones after its market share fell to a five-year low at the beginning of the year. Samsung gained ground by selling camera phones with the flip-up design.

Under new chief executive Ed Zander, Motorola focused on selling higher-priced phones to boost profit, possibly crimping its share of the global market. Gartner's market share numbers for Motorola contrast with those of IDC and Strategy Analytics, which both said Motorola retained its No. 2 position.

Gartner predicted Motorola will have a "strong" fourth quarter, boosted by new designs and the holiday season.

Sales in Asia, Europe and North America rose in this year's third quarter, Gartner said, bucking the usual trend of a decline.

The increase in first-half this year had led the industry to expect sales would be little changed in the third quarter.

Instead, all regions grew from the second quarter and from a year earlier, the researcher said.

Nokia's share rose from 29.7 percent in the second quarter and dropped from 34.2 percent in the same period last year. The company sold 51.7 million units in the quarter.

Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung rose from 11.2 percent a year earlier, overtaking Schaumburg, Illinois-based Motorola, whose share dropped from 14.7 percent a year earlier, Gartner said in the report.

Siemens AG was the fourth-largest vendor, with its market share falling to 7.6 percent from 9.1 percent a year earlier and rising from 6.9 percent in the previous quarter, Gartner said.

``The German maker performed surprisingly well, with a particularly good quarter in the Americas,'' Gartner said.

Seoul-based LG Electronics Inc overtook London-based Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications Ltd as the world's fifth-largest vendor in the quarter, the researcher said.

"In the world's more mature telecom markets, such as North America and Western Europe, sales of handsets to replace older models continued to fuel growth," Gartner said. "In the emerging markets of Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, subscriber numbers kept rising."

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