AMSTERDAM: Nokia and Sony Ericsson were the big winners of the global mobile phone industry in the second quarter, but overall growth slowed and inventories rose, a survey showed yesterday.
On the other end of the scale, Samsung lost market share.
Increased sales driven by colour screens and camera phones, as well as demand in emerging mass market India, were offset by the crisis around the SARS virus which hampered sales in large parts of Asia, particularly China, research group Strategy Analytics said.
The summer heatwave in Europe and lower phone subsidies by mobile operators in China added to concern that the second half of 2003 might be slower than the first, the US group said.
Sales from handset makers to distributors such as mobile operators and retail chains rose 11% to 111 million units, but subsequent sales to consumers lagged and rose only 6% to 108 million units, it added.
Sales growth slowed from the first quarter when shipments increased 16% from the year-ago period. Despite the deceleration, Strategy Analytics reiterated its 2003 forecast for a 6% rise in shipments of cellphones to 455 million, driven mostly by developing markets which need cheap phones.
“Cheap phones continue to sell well, and prices are falling twice as fast in China than elsewhere due to heavy competition from new Asian vendors,” said Strategy Analytics’s Neil Mawston by telephone.
The average wholesale price per phone for the top six vendors is now around US$140 versus US$160 a year ago.
Nokia was the biggest gainer of the quarter with its market share rising to 37% from 35% in the first quarter, gaining on its rivals in both the biggest market, for GSM phones, as well as the smaller CDMA segment.
Nokia’s stronghold has always been the GSM sector, which represent some 65% of the world market, in which Nokia has 46% share.
But this year ,it has added a range of CDMA phones to crack the markets in the Americas and parts of Asia.
It was a weak quarter for second-placed Motorola from the United States and third-placed Samsung Electronics from South Korea. – Reuters.
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