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January 27, 2010

Global handset shipments up 10% to 324 million in Q4, says Strategy Analytics

Signals an end to year-long recession

By CBR Staff Writer

Global mobile handset shipments rose in the fourth quarter of 2009 for the first time since the third quarter of 2009, signalling an end to the year-long recession, according to new research from research firm Strategy Analytics.

Global mobile handset shipments grew 10% to reach 324 million units in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared to the same period last year.

Bonny Joy, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, said: “Global mobile handset shipments reached 324m units during Q4 2009, rising 10% from 294m in Q4 2008. The ten-percent increase was the handset market’s first quarter of positive growth since Q3 2008, signaling an end to the industry’s recession which first began during Q4 2008 and lasted for four quarters.”

According to the report, Nokia’s global handset shipments were 126.9 million, accounting for 39.1% market share. Samsung shipped 69 million handsets worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2009, up an above-average 31% from 52.8 million units a year earlier. The company surpassed 200m units during the full-year and maintained a global marketshare of 21%.

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The firm said that Motorola and Sony Ericsson have been the highest-profile casualties of the handset recession, each shedding several points of global marketshare over the past 18 months. Motorola shipped 12 million handsets with a market share of 3.7%, while Sony Ericsson shipped 14.6 million handsets with a market share of 4.5%.

Apple shipped a record 8.7m iPhones worldwide in Q4 2009, for a 2.7% marketshare. It recently unveiled the iPad multimedia tablet, which will complement the iPhone but may struggle to match the iPhone’s sizeable volumes, Strategy Analytics said.

Neil Mawston, director of Strategy Analytics, said: “We expect the global handset market to continue its recovery, with shipments growing a forecast 8 percent annually during the first quarter of 2010. Consumers, operators and handset vendors are steadily regaining confidence. However, some major regions, such as South America, are still a little fragile, so it will not always be a smooth recovery and some regions will fare better than others.”

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