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Mobile phone shipments hit the record in 2003

Posted: 06 Feb 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:idc? mobile phone qview? mobile phone?

According to IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone QView, the worldwide mobile phone shipments grew by 29.7 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of last year and increased sequentially by 21.8 percent to 167.8 million units.

The fourth quarter of 2003 closed out a particularly strong year for the worldwide mobile phone market as handset sales topped half a billion units shipped for the first time in the market's history. Shipments grew 23.3 percent from 432.7 million devices shipped worldwide in 2002 to 533.4 million handsets in 2003.

"Worldwide mobile phone manufacturers grew their sales by tapping into robust demand in emerging markets in Asia and Eastern Europe. In addition to driving increased sales, first-time buyers' preference for more expensive midrange and high-end mobile phones helped to drive additional revenue to phone manufacturers," said David Linsalata, analyst in IDC's Mobile Devices program. "Additionally, North American and Western European consumers elected to replace their existing handsets with new 2.5G models as the need for 3G remains unproven."

Contained within the volume of worldwide mobile phone shipments, the market for converged mobile devices, or "smartphones," showed significant growth and future promise. In the fourth quarter of 2003, the worldwide converged mobile device market grew 182.3 percent year-over-year and 77.4 percent sequentially to 3.7 million units. Strong sales during the fourth quarter drove worldwide shipments for 2003 up 181.6 percent year-over-year to 9.6 million devices.

"As new devices from Research in Motion (RIM) and newly-reformed palmOne reach market, consumers and enterprises alike are experiencing a fresh take on data-centric converged mobile devices," said Linsalata. "Simultaneously, voice-centric converged mobile devices based on a range of software platforms and available in variety of form factors are seeing significant growth as vendors such as Nokia and Motorola weave imaging and data capabilities with proven telephony experience to form significantly improved devices."





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