June 1 2003
Worldwide mobile phone unit sales totaled 423.4 million units
in 2002, a 6% increase from 2001, according to Dataquest. Fourth quarter
worldwide mobile phone sales totaled 122.6 million units, an increase of 14% vs.
the same period last year.
Gartner Dataquest analysts noted that
fourth quarter mobile operator connection growth came in well above industry
expectations in almost every region of the world, helping to drive fourth
quarter sales up almost 15% sequentially.
"Consumers embraced a variety of innovative handsets, especially those with
color screens, rather than delaying replacement purchases because of an ongoing
lack of compelling mobile data services," said Bryan Prohm, senior analyst with
the Mobile Communications Worldwide research group for Gartner Dataquest. "This
is an encouraging trend, because as carriers and manufacturers determine how to
better align devices with applications and services, the market may again prove
stronger than expected during 2003."
Once again, the largest vendors realized much better results than the smaller
and regional vendors in 2002. Four of the top five vendors gained market share
vs. 2001, while Samsung led all vendors with a 47.6% increase in sales to
Terminal Sales to End-User
Estimates for 2002(Thousands of Units)
Note: Ericsson sales only
Nokia's 2002 market share reached 35.8 percent, almost a full percentage
point gain in market share vs. the fourth quarter of 2001. Nokia did even better
in the fourth quarter of 2002 when its market share approached 37 percent.
However, Gartner Dataquest analysts said the vendor will face challenges in
"Some large GSM carriers will actively promote other manufacturers' products
during 2003 in an attempt to restrain Nokia's growth in major markets," said Ben
Wood, senior analyst with the Mobile Communications Group for Gartner Dataquest
in Europe. "Nevertheless, multiple opportunities exist for Nokia to maintain and
even increase its market share in 2003, particularly in CDMA markets in
Asia/Pacific and the Americas."
Some key product delays hampered Motorola's recovery during 2002, and the
company netted only a small year-over-year increase in market share, but
prospects for 2003 remain bright. "During 2003, look for Motorola to again vie
for leadership of the global CDMA market, consolidate an emerging leadership
position in the Americas and move to defend share in China. Motorola's greatest
challenge however, remains how to address an enduring weakness in the Europe,
Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region," Prohm said.
Samsung, the world's third-largest vendor of mobile phones during 2002, is
positioned for continued success in 2003. "Samsung has a mature and innovative
handset portfolio encompassing CDMA, GSM, time division multiple access (TDMA),
and it maintains a strong presence in all major markets except Japan. It has
become almost universally regarded as the industry's most significant threat to
incumbent mobile terminal manufacturers," said Ann Liang, industry analyst with
the Mobile Communications Group for Gartner Dataquest in Asia/Pacific.
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