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Global mobile phone market surges: IDC

November 19, 2003 10:30 IST

Driven by strong demand from first-time buyers in emerging markets and replacement buyers in mature markets, the worldwide market for mobile phones continues to surge in the third quarter of 2003, says an IDC report.

IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone quarterly review reports that worldwide mobile phone shipments grew by 21.2 per cent year-over-year. Mobile phone shipments have also grown 14 per cent since the last quarter, to 130 million units.

The combined market share of Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Siemens and LG Electronics dipped to 71.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2003, from 77.3 per cent in the last quarter of 2002.

IDC says the companies have recaptured lost market share, rising to 76.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2003. Individually, the companies registered quarter-to-quarter growth for the first time this year, the report says.

Nokia has maintained its top position in the market while LG Electronics regained the number 5 spot from Sony Ericsson.

"Consumer demand continued to build across all market segments in the third quarter, driving healthy performances for the top five vendors," says David Linsalata, an analyst in IDC's Mobile Devices program.

"Emerging markets in Asia like China, India, and Central Europe are seeing first-time sales growing and it remains to be seen if the top vendors maintain their hold on the market share," Linsalata says. "There is also a growing number of replacement sales in establishment markets such as Europe and North America," Linsalata adds.

Replacement sales in mature markets have been sparked by camera phones and color screens, IDC says.

"The proliferation of camera phones and color phones into the worldwide market continues to spark consumer interest in new handsets and spur the mobile phone market to higher growth," he adds.

Linsalata says the growth, which is pretty significant, combined with growth from the last quarter, paints an optimistic picture for the fourth quarter of 2003.

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