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Mobile phone shipments continue growth in Q2

Posted: 27 Jul 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile phone? IDC? Ryan Reith? Nokia? Motorola?

After an impressive first quarter, worldwide mobile phone shipments fell just short of an all-time high in the second quarter of 2006 with volume of 237.8 million units. The robust quarter was enough to boast a 2.1 percent increase from the first quarter, and 22.5 percent more than the same quarter a year ago. According to IDC, 470.7 million units have shipped so far in 2006, which suggests that the industry may be close to shipping 1 billion units for the full year.

"The industry has been eyeing the milestone of 1 billion handsets shipped in a single year for some time, and many believe 2006 will be the year it happens," said Ryan Reith, research analyst for IDC's Mobile Phone Tracker. "However, while the first half of the year has been impressive, IDC does not see this milestone being surpassed this year. Although the demand for handsets in emerging markets continues to soar, the market's surging growth rate has been balanced by slowing demand in select mature markets."

While the majority of handset shipments were made up of entry-level devices, the second quarter also witnessed strong growth in handsets capable of utilizing bulked-up, third generation network infrastructure, said IDC. The presence of established high-speed networks has resulted in the introduction of new handsets capable of video conferencing, internet access at broadband speeds, and real-time content sharing, all of which drove increased demand during the second quarter.

"With a number of carriers marketing subscription services that take advantage of 3G's advanced capabilities, all of the major vendors are now offering 3G-compatible devices across multiple regions," added Reith. "There has been much talk about 3G being a standard, but that could only become a reality when carriers were able to market services that were appealing to consumers. With competitive services in place to drive usage on mobile phones for applications beyond voice, handset vendors are putting an increasing amount of resources into 3G handsets. Nevertheless, lower-end devices still make up the majority of the market."

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