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Mobile Phone Shipments Fall 10 Percent in Q4 2008

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global mobile phone shipments fell 10 percent year-over-year, to reach 295 million units in Q4 2008. An economic downturn in developed and emerging markets caused the industry’s slowest growth rate since 2001.

Bonny Joy, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics said, “Global mobile phone shipments fell to 295 million units during Q4 2008, down a significant 10 percent from 329 million units in Q4 2007. An economic downturn in developed and developing markets caused the industry’s slowest growth rate since Q4 2001. Retailers have been de-stocking due to credit tightness, while consumers delayed purchases because of fears of a recession.”

Neil Mawston, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Three of the big 5 cellphone vendors recorded negative annual growth rates in Q4 2008. Motorola declined 54 percent, Sony Ericsson 21 percent and Nokia 15 percent. With volumes and revenues contracting sharply this year, much of the mobile industry’s focus will inevitably be on controlling costs and restoring profitability during 2009.”

Other findings from Strategy Analytics’ Q4 2008 Global Handset Market Share Update report include:

  • Samsung performed best among the big five vendors during Q4 2008. Samsung’s global market share hit an all-time high of 18 percent. An attractive handset portfolio and wider distribution channels were among the drivers of its success;
  • Apple shipped a lower-than-expected 4.4 million iPhones worldwide in Q4 2008. Apple’s annual growth rate of 88 percent was far below the 516 percent it registered in the previous quarter. Apple continues to grow at an above-average pace, but the firm is not immune to the wider recession affecting the global economy and mobile device industry.

Global Mobile Handset Shipments and Marketshare — Top 5 Vendors

Global Handset Shipments (Millions of Units) Q4 ’07 2007 Q4 ’08 2008
Nokia 133.5 437.1 113.1 468.4
Samsung 46.3 161.1 52.8 196.6
LG 23.7 80.5 25.7 100.8
Motorola 40.9 159.0 19.0 99.9
Sony Ericsson 30.8 103.4 24.2 96.6
Others 53.9 181.5 59.8 215.8
Total 329.1 1122.6 294.6 1178.1
Global Handset Market Share % Q4 ’07 2007 Q4 ’08 2008
Nokia 40.6% 38.9% 38.4% 39.8%
Samsung 14.1% 14.4% 17.9% 16.7%
LG 7.2% 7.2% 8.7% 8.6%
Motorola 12.4% 14.2% 6.4% 8.5%
Sony Ericsson 9.4% 9.2% 8.2% 8.2%
Others 16.4% 16.2% 20.3% 18.3%
Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Total Growth Year-over-Year 12.3% 12.0% -10.5% 4.9%
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