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Worldwide Converged Mobile Device Market Continues to Surge Ahead

The worldwide converged mobile device or smartphone market showed no signs of slowing down during the first quarter of 2006, recording a new record in quarterly shipments. According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, worldwide converged mobile device shipments totaled 18.9 million units in Q1 2006, an increase of 7.5% from the fourth quarter of 2005 and 67.8% compared to the same quarter one year ago.

“In most mature markets, the first quarter of the new year is usually characterized by a sequential decrease in shipments. However, as a market with more growth on the way, the converged mobile device market was able to post sequential growth as well as a sizable year-over-year gain,” said Ramon Llamas, research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Markets team. “The worldwide market has broadened in terms of the number of vendors who have entered into this space, and deepened as far as the kinds of devices coming out for consumers, enterprise users, and fans of multimedia. The lure of new products combined with heightened competition among the vendors, should continue to drive the smartphone market to new heights.”

“Continuous upgrades to mobile operating systems have given device manufacturers more capable platforms upon which to create devices,” says Ryan Reith, research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Phone Tracker. “For example, Nokia set the bar by launching two new lines of devices for the converged market, the E-Series and the N-Series, aimed at two different end-user markets. These lines have plenty of room to grow and offer devices in the high, mid, and lower levels of the converged mobile device space, which should add pressure on other device manufacturers to follow suit in 2006.”

Vendor Highlights

Nokia – After reaching a record level during Q4 2005 with 9.3 million units shipped, Nokia experienced a 12.2% decrease in shipments following the holiday quarter. Despite this sequential decline, Nokia enjoyed 49.9% year-over-year growth in the first quarter of 2006, capturing 43.2% of the worldwide market. Nokia augmented its broad lineup of devices in the first quarter with the introduction of several new multimedia-centric N-Series devices as well as its E-Series targeted at enterprise users.

Panasonic – Holding on to the number 2 spot was Japanese vendor Panasonic, which grew its shipments 28.3% from the previous quarter and an impressive 65.1% over the same quarter a year ago. As a result, Panasonic wrapped up 10.0% of the worldwide market share. The majority of Panasonic’s devices ended up in Japan where all of the company’s devices are carried by NTT DoCoMo. In addition, the company still has a presence in the Asia/Pacific market with its X700.

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NEC – Following closely behind Panasonic was Japanese vendor NEC, which trailed the number two vendor by just a hundred thousand units. The company continues to see quarterly gains in Japan and posted a 32.6% sequential increase in the first quarter along with 57.0% year-over-year growth. All of NEC’s converged mobile devices remained within its home region of Japan.

Research In Motion – The Canada-based vendor of enterprise-centric BlackBerries posted a new record shipment volume to kick off 2006, its fifth consecutive quarter of sequential growth. After shipping nearly 1.5 million units, Research In Motion posted sequential growth of 12.4% over 4Q05 and year-over-year growth of 85.7%. By the end of the quarter, Research In Motion had earned 7.7% worldwide market share.

Sharp – A relative newcomer to the market, Sharp first joined the converged mobile device market in late 2005. The company followed up its debut by shipping over a million units in 1Q06 and posted a 174.4% sequential increase in the process. As a result, Sharp collected 5.7% worldwide market share. Like NEC, all of its devices were shipped into Japan. -0-

Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide Converged Mobile Device Shipments and Market Share, Q1 2006

(Units shipments are in millions)

Rank Vendor 1Q06 Market Shipments 1Q06 Share 1Q05 Market Shipments 1Q05 Share 1Q06/1Q05 Growth
1 Nokia 8.16 43.2% 5.45 48.4% 49.9%
2 Panasonic 1.89 10.0% 1.145 10.2% 65.1%
3 NEC 1.79 9.5% 1.140 10.1% 57.0%
4 Research in Motion 1.45 7.7% 0.78 6.9% 85.7%
5 Sharp 1.07 5.7% 0.00 0.0% 0.00%
Others 4.52 23.9% 2.74 24.4% 64.7%
Total 18.88 100.0% 11.25 100.0% 67.8%

Source: IDC, Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, June 7, 2006

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Note: Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.

For more information about the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or email

About IDC
IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. Over 850 IDC analysts in 50 countries provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends. For more than 42 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting

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