[Reuters] Global handset shipments grew nearly 5 percent in the second quarter, the first quarter- on-quarter growth in 9 months, marking a reversal of course for the struggling market, researchers at iSuppli said on Friday.
Worldwide shipments of cellphones rose 4.7 percent to 265 million units in the second quarter compared with the first quarter, helped by strength in the Middle East and Latin America, but were still down 15.1 percent compared with a year ago, according to preliminary data from iSuppli.
"The market is approaching the bottom," iSuppli analyst Tina Teng said. "In the handset market we are seeing more orders coming in and the top 5 OEMs are projecting positive growth."
Inventory levels have decreased and factories are seeing higher utilization rates, she added.
Shipments for 2009 are still expected to shrink 9.9 percent year-on-year to 1.1 billion units -- their first annual decline in eight years.
But iSuppli forecast an improving second half, with quarter-on-quarter increases in shipments of 6 percent in the third quarter and 8.3 percent in the fourth quarter.
Global mobile market bottoms, grows anew: iSuppli