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1 billion units sold and more to come – Analyst

Research firm, Strategy Analytics said global mobile phone shipments grew 25 per cent year-on-year, reaching a record total of 1 billion units in 2006.The milestone represents a significant achievement that has taken 23 years to achieve.

Strategy Analytics said that in revenue terms, Japanese-Swedish firm Sony Ericsson, became the world’s third largest handset vendor, overtaking Samsung for the first time. Sony Ericsson brought in $4.9bn (£2.5bn) compared to Samsung’s $4.6bn.

The research firm also looked at 2007 and forecast 12 per cent shipment growth during 2007, for 1.14 billion units. Emerging markets, notably India and Africa, will continue to be the main engines for volume, but not profit, growth, the company said.

Neil Mawston, associate director at Strategy Analytics said: “Mobile phone sales have exploded from less than 100,000 units in 1983 to 100 million units in 1997 and have now passed the 1 billion level in 2006. During that time, mobile phones have become a critical driver of innovation and profit for the world’s semiconductor, memory, battery and display industries.”

Bonny Joy, analyst at Strategy Analytics added: “300 million cellular handsets were shipped worldwide in Q4 2006, up a healthy 22 per cent year-on-year. Nokia and Motorola continued to dominate volumes but it was Sony Ericsson who shone brightest. Growth, volumes, revenues and total profits are all at their highest ever levels for the Japanese-Swedish firm.”


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