China, India Boosts Global Mobile Phone Sales
Gartner Inc of the US has announced results of its survey on the global mobile phone market in 2007. Sales to end-users increased 16% year-on-year (YoY) to 1.15284 billion units. Sales in the fourth quarter (Q4) also rose, as much as in 2007, 16% YoY to 333.05 million units.
With many people purchasing their first mobile phones in emerging markets, sales growth was greater in the Chinese and Indian markets, in particular. In mature markets such as Japan and Western Europe, purchasing motivation was higher for cutting-edge models featuring TV tuner, GPS, touch screen and high-resolution camera capabilities, for example, Gartner said.
Gartner forecast the global mobile phone market will "only grow about 10% with unit sales to end-users slowing down due to further saturation in mature markets" in 2008. However, impact from recessions in the US and Western Europe is likely to be relatively minimal because most market growth will be driven by emerging markets, the company said.
The company estimated markets in Western Europe and North America will account for about 30% of the overall global market in 2008.
By manufacturer, Nokia Corp of Finland sold the most mobile phones in 2007, following 2006. Its sales climbed 26% YoY to 435.45 million units with its share expanding 3.0 points to 37.8%. In the Q4, Nokia sold 133.19 million units and its share surpassed 40%, which the company had targeted as its long-term goal.
Despite shortage in components, Nokia expanded its share quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) in all market regions excluding North America. Demand was strong for the "1110," "1600" and "2630" models in emerging markets, while high-end models such as the "N95," "N82" and "N73" were in greater demand in mature markets including Western Europe, according to Gartner.
2006 and 2007 mobile phone shipments by manufacturer (grey area=others)
Ranked second was Motorola Inc of the US, which saw sales sharply drop 21% YoY to 164.31 million units and its share shrank 6.8 points to 14.3%, greatly reducing its lead over third place Samsung Electronics Co Ltd of Korea. The company would have been overtaken by Samsung Electronics if results were limited to Q4, but it maintained its position in second place for 2007 by implementing an inventory adjustment in the first half of 2007.
Third-ranked Samsung Electronics saw sales soar 33% YoY to 154.54 million units and its share expand 1.6 points to 13.4%. Sales of the "Ultra Edition" and "Ultra Edition II" series products were favorable.
Ranked fourth was Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB of the UK, which marked a 38% YoY shipment growth to 101.36 million units and an 8.8% share, followed by LG Electronics Inc of Korea, which posted a 27% YoY shipment increase to 78.58 million units and a 6.8% share.
Limited to Q4, Research In Motion Ltd (RIM) of Canada, ZTE Corp of China and Apple Inc were newly ranked in the top ten mobile phone manufacturers. ZTE achieved the rapid growth by focusing on low pricing and emerging markets, whereas RIM by weighing functionalities and Apple by emphasizing its brand power and design, Gartner said.