FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--()--The worldwide mobile phone market saw mild sequential growth in the third quarter (3Q09), according to IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker. Year-on-year growth remained negative, but improved from the first half of 2009. Mobile phone shipments totaled 287.1 million units worldwide in 3Q09, down 6.0% from a year earlier, but up 5.6% from the second quarter.
“The mobile phone market is showing the first signs of improvement since the onset of the economic crisis”
"The mobile phone market is showing the first signs of improvement since the onset of the economic crisis," says Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team. "During the third quarter, we saw a number of channels promoting older devices at significantly lower prices. For many, this was enough to spur demand and push volumes higher. Now that we have moved into the fourth quarter, vendors are setting the stage for further gains by launching their flagship devices to meet pent-up demand."
"Although some regions are still reeling from problems associated with the economic crisis, the third quarter served to cleanse the channel while providing the signs of stability necessary for additional improvement in the fourth quarter," says Will Stofega, research manager of IDC's Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team. "Despite the outlook for a slower economic recovery, we think vendors should increase R&D spending as well as engage in a broad portfolio review in order to ensure the best competitive stance as the market recovers."
Top Five Mobile Phone Vendors
Nokia experienced continued pressure during 3Q09 in its Devices and Services group. The company reported a 20% decrease in revenue, ASP decline, and a shortage of components across its product portfolio. Even its tight hold on the converged mobile device category was loosened as the company cited a market share decrease from 41% to an estimated 35%. This did not keep Nokia from enhancing its services arm, acquiring cellity, Doplr, and assets from Plum Ventures.
Samsung reached a new record by shipping more than 60 million units in a single quarter. This puts the company well within reach of achieving its goal of shipping 200 million units in 2009. Driving growth was a combination of touchscreen-enabled and QWERTY messaging devices going into developed markets as well as key models within emerging markets. Looking to 4Q09, Samsung is poised to launch strategic converged mobile devices running on Android and Linux.
LG Electronics breached the 30 million unit mark for the first time in its history. Nearly half of those units sold for less than $100, making them handsome purchases for carriers. Still, the company was vulnerable in Korea and North America. Moreover, the lack of converged mobile devices and handsets for prepaid services prevented LG from capitalizing on growth opportunities in these segments. LG expects to launch Android and Windows converged mobile devices in 4Q09, while boosting its profile in India and China, improving its competitive position in the near term.
Sony Ericsson marked Hideki Komiyama's final quarter as president of the company. During his tenure, Sony Ericsson realized improved operational efficiencies and cost reduction to increase profitability. However, the lack of entry-level devices during the economic recession left the company vulnerable as its competitors were able to keep up with shifting demand. That trend appears to continue as a list of mid-range and high-end devices are set to launch in 4Q09 and Bert Nordberg, head of Ericsson Silicon Valley, assumes Komiyama's position.
Motorola slipped to fifth place, but in the process the company reported progress in its restructuring campaign. In addition to reducing its operating losses for the second consecutive quarter, Motorola announced its much anticipated Android-powered converged mobile device, the CLIQ/DEXT, as well as its new DROID. The company announced that it would shift its resources towards converged mobile devices and away from traditional mobile phones in 2010, a move the company hopes will improve gross margins and reduce operating losses.
Top Five Mobile Phone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Q3 2009
(Units in Millions)
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, October 29, 2009
Note: Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.
Mobile Phones – These small, battery-powered, voice-centric devices utilize operator-provided cellular/PCS air interfaces for voice communication. They are designed primarily, in both form factor and feature set, for a compelling mobile telephony experience, but may also include text-messaging capability. Mobile phones may include a headset jack for hands-free operation as well as a variety of features, such as personal information management, multimedia, games, or office applications. Mobile phones exist at all points along the form factor, price point, and feature set continua. Mobile phones that combine voice communications capabilities with pen or keypad handheld data features are tracked within the Converged Devices category.
For more information about IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or email@example.com.
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