LONDON – Nokia and Motorola, the world’s two largest cellphone makers, pulled away from the rest of the pack in the global market as the combined worldwide unit sales for all mobile phone makers rose by 22 percent in the third quarter, according to a survey made public Wednesday.
Nokia’s market share rose to 35.1 percent from 32.5 percent a year earlier, the research firm Gartner said in a statement. Motorola’s share rose to 20.6 percent from 18.7 percent. Samsung Electronics’ share fell to 12.2 percent from 12.5 percent as sales grew at a slower pace than at Nokia and Motorola.
As a result of increases for Nokia and Motorola and the growth in Asia, Gartner raised its full-year sales forecast to 986 million units from its previous forecast of 960 million units. Third-quarter sales in Asia grew 55 percent. Nokia gained market share in every region except North America by selling the widest variety of products, Gartner said.
Global sales of mobile phones are set for another year of strong growth in 2007, with estimated consumer demand for 1.1 billion phones, according to the survey.
“We expect just over 10 percent growth in 2007,” Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Gartner, said.
“More attention to the emerging markets and so having more, cheaper phones on the market is obviously driving sales,” she added.
Nokia, which sold 88.1 million units in the quarter, increased its market share in every region except North America. The company regained the top spot in Latin America after losing it to Motorola a year ago, Gartner said.
Motorola also lost ground in other markets, including Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Gartner said. Motorola sold 51.9 million phones.
According to IDC, another research firm, the Western European mobile phone market grew by 9 percent in the third quarter from the same period a year earlier, with 44.1 million units shipped.
Nokia was the leader in Western Europe, with a 35.1 percent market share, according to IDC. Samsung was second with 16.9 percent, followed by Motorola with 13.5 percent and Sony Ericsson with 13.4 percent.
While Samsung lost market share globally, the company kept its No. 3 position by increasing sales, though at a slower pace than at Nokia and Motorola, according to Gartner.
“If you look at the vendors in the third quarter, Samsung was back,” Milanesi said. Samsung struggled in the first half of the year, she said, and so the 30.6 million units sold by the company constituted a “healthy” sales figure.
Sony Ericsson, in fourth place, increased sales and raised its market share to 7.7 percent from 6.7 percent. In the No. 5 spot was LG Electronics, with a market share falling to 6 percent from 6.5 percent. LG suffered because it was not offering enough different phones, Milanesi said.
BenQ, the biggest cellphone maker in Taiwan, also lost market share, falling to 2.4 percent from 4.7 percent after the company stopped funding its German phone business. In September, BenQ’s German unit filed for bankruptcy protection.
In the fourth quarter there will be a “bigger focus” on music phones , Milanesi said.
Next year, mobile phone makers might expand beyond music and are likely to offer additional content, including TV, in an effort to “reinvent” the cellphone.
Milanesi said there had been speculation that Apple Computer might plan to introduce a phone next year. “Are they going to make a phone or not?” Milanesi said. “That would spice things up a bit.”
Fuente: International Herald Tribune