2.5G Delays Lead to Phone Slump

p>A variety of factors, including slower-than-expected implementation of next-generation wireless technology cause worldwide mobile phone shipments declined 10 percent in the third quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago, according to a study released Monday by Dataquest.

“The mobile phone industry has been impacted by repeated delays in the availability of general packet radio service (GPRS) terminals and the effect of the widespread economic downturn on regions where mobile connection growth has traditionally been high, such as Latin America,” said Bryan Prohm, senior analyst with Gartner Dataquest’s mobile communications worldwide research group.

However, the most important factor has been the poor economy, particularly in Western Europe, the study says. One Dataquest analyst called it “unprecedented” that shipments actually decreased from the second quarter to the third in that usually robust market.

Worldwide, Nokia is still the market leader by far, but it’s market share slipped slightly to 33.4 percent in the just-ended quarter compared to 30.6 percent in the same quarter a year ago. Those figures cover unit shipments, not sales. Motorola is in second place but its market share increased to 15.7 percent compared to 13.3 percent the previous year.

Ericsson’s remains in third place but saw its market share lips from almost 10 percent to eight percent while Samsung, in fourth place, saw its market share increase to 7.5 percent from 4.3 percent, according to the study.

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