Handset vendors exploit Moto’s misfortunes

Although rankings did not change among the top five handset manufacturers during the first quarter of 2007, Motorola’s rivals have been ruthlessly exploiting the second placed vendor’s misfortunes.

Motorola was the only vendor in the top five to lose market share during the quarter, slipping from 19.8 per cent to 17.7 per cent market share, according to industry analyst IDC.

However, Motorola has shifted its focus towards recovery after shipping 45.4 million units and experiencing operating losses for the quarter. With a restructured management team and clear objectives in place, the number two vendor aims to reverse its fortunes before the end of the year.

Nokia maintained its lead, shipping 91.1 million units and boosting its market share from 32.2 per cent a year ago to 35.5 per cent.

Samsung bucked the trend of other leading vendors by posting both a sequential and year on year increase in shipments and reached a new record level of shipments at 34.8 million units. The company strengthened its third place by moving market share up to 13.6 per cent from 12.4 per cent.

Sony Ericsson registered the largest year on year growth among the leading vendors during the quarter, shifting 21.8 million units and boosting its market share to 8.5 per cent from 5.7 per cent last year.

Fifth placed LG Electronics posted an expected seasonal sequential decrease in shipments as well as flat growth from the same quarter a year ago with a total of 15.8 million units shipped. Market share was also flat year on year at 6.2 per cent.

IDC reported that vendors shipped a total of 256.4 million units during the quarter, a year on year increase of 10 per cent. However, the shipments were 13.8 per cent lower than the record shipments in the previous quarter; although the decline was expected owing to the seasonality of the market.

“The increase in worldwide phone shipments was driven, in part, by new subscribers in emerging markets and, in part, by replacement sales in mature markets,” said Ramon Llamas, research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Devices Technology and Trends group.

“While rankings did not change among the top five vendors, some interesting trends have begun to unfold,” added Ryan Reith, research analyst for IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker. “Samsung was able to benefit from Motorola’s misfortunes by recording a positive sequential growth in the first quarter, which is uncommon given the effects of seasonality on this industry. While Motorola announced plans to revamp growth, the sudden shift in momentum demonstrates how competitive this industry is and how innovation on product development is essential.”


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