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Samsung up one notch in top handset supplier list

Posted: 18 Jul 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:handset supplier? wireless handset market? mobile phones?

Inching up a step, Samsung Electronics is now the world's second largest supplier of wireless handsets in Q2, following weak European and Asian sales at Motorola Inc., which slid to the third position even as the entire market continued to experience solid growth.

The South Korea-based company, shipped 37.4 million mobile phones in the three months ended June 30, compared with the range of 35 to 36 million units tentatively reported earlier by Motorola. The former No. 2 company now trails front runner Nokia by an even larger margin than before although the Finnish rival has yet to announce its Q2 sales.

Motorola's weak Q2 sales, however, are not representative of the industry, based on figures released by two other manufacturers, including Sony Ericsson, which said handset shipments soared 59 percent in the quarter compared with the same period in 2006. Sony Ericsson reported unit handset shipment climbed to 24.9 million from 21.8 million in Q1 and 15.7 million in the year-ago quarter. Meanwhile, Samsung handset unit shipments rose 9 percent from Q1 and 49 percent from the Q2 of 2006.

"We believe Sony Ericsson will see shares continue to rise and operating margins expand as new launches slated for second half 2007 occur and make the OEM more competitive in high-end handset by year end," said Matthew Hoffman, an analyst at SG Cowen Securities, in a research report.

Sony Ericsson secured its market share gains partly by outselling rivals in developing markets such as Latin America, Middle East and Africa. It compensated for the resulting margin pressures in these regions by adding high-end products in the saturated markets of Western Europe.

"We expect the market in 2007 to remain competitive, but with recently announced products such as the flagship Walkman and Cybershot models we aim to continue to grow faster than the market," said Miles Flint, president of Sony Ericsson in a statement announcing its results.

Samsung is similarly expecting demand for its handsets to increase in the traditionally stronger second half. The company forecasts its total wireless handset shipment for 2007 will increase more than 32 percent to exceed 150 million units and said it expects to increase its overall share of the market.

- Bolaji Ojo
EE Times

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