November 30, 2007 According to new research from Gartner, sales of mobile phones in the third quarter of this year reached 289 million worldwide. Sales for the full year are expected to hit around 1.134 billion handsets sales to end users, a marked increase on last year.
The massive sales in this last quarter were up 15% on the same time last year with the top five vendors increasing their market share and accounting for 81.6% of the total market. Nokia sold 110.2 million units giving it a 38.1% market share, the highest year-on-year market share increase. Samsung's sales totaled 41.8 million units allowing it to take up second spot behind Nokia. Motorola's sales continued to weaken with the company dropping 7.6 percentage points of market share from the third quarter of 2006. The company lost its number two spot to Samsung. Razr2 appears to be the only Motorola handset proving popular with consumers, accounting for 900,000 of overall sales. Sony Ericsson and LG brought up the rear of the pack, but both with positive sales performance. Sony’s third quarter sales reached 25.4 million units and LG sold 20.5 million units.
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The research from Gartner indicated that key regions driving mobile sales are Asia/Pacific, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Asia/Pacific had a 26% sales increase from the third quarter in 2006 while sales in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa reached 49.6 million units, a rise of 3.5 %. Sales in Japan were up 21.8% to 13.1 million and Latin America reached 32.2 million units, an increase of 8 percent from the same period last year. The North American handset market continued to show strong signs of growth with sales to end users reaching 45 million units in the third quarter of 2007, a 10.3 percent increase from the same period in 2006. Western Europe was also up with a 14.9% increase.
Sales of the Samsung Ultra Edition II series continued to gain momentum in key markets such as Western Europe, where Samsung reached 21 percent market share, its strongest performance in the region. LG on the other hand faced strong competition in India, where the CDMA market has become challenging as operators closed deals with new entrants such as ZTE. With no signs of slowing, the mobile phone market will continue to be a competitive field. Only time will tell if anyone is able to knock Nokia of its number one spot.