The worldwide market for mobile phones continued to grow in the third quarter of 2003, driven by strong demand for new handsets from first-time buyers in emerging markets as well as replacement buyers in mature markets. According to IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone QView, worldwide mobile phone shipments grew by 21.2% year-over-year in 3Q03 and increased sequentially by 14.0% to 130.1 million units. Nokia maintained its top position in the market while LG Electronics regained the number 5 spot from Sony Ericsson.
In addition to the market’s impressive year-over-year growth of 21.2%, the top 5 mobile phone vendors continued to gain back market share after a dip in 1Q03. After dropping from 77.3% of the market in 4Q02 to 71.4% in 1Q03, the top 5 vendors have reclaimed much of their lost market share in 3Q03 with 76.6% of the market. At the same time, 3Q03 was the first quarter of 2003 during which the top 5 vendors all posted positive sequential growth. However, with a growing number of vendors from Asia entering the worldwide market, it remains to be seen if the top vendors can maintain their hold on market-share.
“Consumer demand continued to build across all market segments in the third quarter, driving healthy performances for the top 5 vendors,” said David Linsalata, analyst, in IDC’s Mobile Devices program. “The proliferation of cameraphones and color phones into the worldwide market continues to spark consumer interest in new handsets and spur the mobile phone market to higher growth.”
* Nokia — Nokia maintained its number 1 spot this quarter with a sequential increase of 11.2% and continued to strengthen its presence in the U.S. and global CDMA markets. However, due to the increasing market size, Nokia’s market share decreased by just under a percent to 35.0%. Of particular note is the launch of the Nokia N-Gage, a gaming-centric device launched worldwide in the beginning of October.
* Motorola — After experiencing a drop of over 5% in shipments in 2Q03, Motorola posted a 27.8% sequential increase in shipments, bringing its market share up 1.7% to 15.5% of the market and distancing itself slightly from Samsung.
* Samsung — Continuing on its success from the previous quarter, Samsung increased its market share from 10.5% in 2Q03 to 11.5% in 3Q03 with an increase of 3 million shipments to a total of 15 million mobile phones. Samsung attributes its increase to strong demand for its high-end handsets with color screens, cameras and camcorder functions.
* Siemens — Siemens’ shipments grew 39.5% sequentially in 3Q03, easily solidifying itself as the number 4 vendor worldwide.
* LG Electronics — Rising sharply on the strength of its CDMA and GSM shipments overseas, LGE re-entered IDC’s top 5 list as it boosted its market share to 5.8%, just beating out Sony Ericsson at 5.5%.
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