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Nokia leads the burgeoning worldwide mobile handset industry, capturing well over one-third of the market, according to data from Gartner, Inc. Nokia exhibited more than 17 percent growth in the second quarter of 2003 over the same period in 2002, while the industry grew 12 percent overall.

While Nokia’s growth is formidable, competitor LG has shown a 41 percent spurt, increasing its market share to nearly 4 percent of worldwide sales. Nokia’s closest competitor, Motorola, trails with over 14 percent of the market — dropping from 17 percent in 2Q02 — largely due to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in its largest market, China.

According to Gartner, Nokia achieved several notable milestones in the quarter, such as success in the code division multiple access (CDMA) [define] market and strong market share growth in the Asia/Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa regions. Sony Ericsson showed strong growth in the second quarter, with robust sales in Japan and a positive reception of its T610 mobile terminal in Western Europe.

Worldwide Mobile Terminal Sales to End-Users
Estimates for 2Q03 (Thousands of Units)
Company 2Q03 Sales 2Q03
Market Share
2Q02 Sales 2Q02
Market Share
Nokia 41,231.0 35.9% 35,139.4 34.2% 17.3%
Motorola 16,733.3 14.6% 17,429.5 17.0% -4.0%
Samsung 11,330.5 9.9% 9,757.0 9.5% 16.1%
Siemens 8,052.2 7.0% 8,219.0 8.0% -2.0%
Sony Ericsson 6,270.8 5.5% 5,324.9 5.2% 17.8%
LG 4,392.1 3.8% 3,107.5 3.0% 41.3%
Others 26,884.3 23.3% 23,714.2 23.1% 13.4%
Total 114,894.2 100.0% 102,691.5 100.0% 11.9%
Note: Table includes Integrated Dispatch Enhanced Network (iDEN) shipments
but excludes mobile WLL [define] and Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) to
original equipment manufacturer (OEM) shipments.
Source: Gartner Dataquest (August 2003)

“Strong sell-through momentum was again evident across all geographical regions, despite the unquestionably negative impact of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in the Asia/Pacific region during April and May,” said Bryan Prohm, principal analyst with the mobile communications research group for Gartner in North America. “Sales in Japan, Latin America, the developing markets of Central and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East and Africa far exceeded expectations during the quarter.”

The global market has essentially split into two mature markets, commented Ben Wood, principal analyst with the mobile communications group for Gartner in Europe. “There is the replacement market in regions such as Western Europe and North America that is driving sales, and emerging markets such as Africa, parts of Eastern Europe and China, where new sales are fueling customer demand.”

Jupiter Research (a unit of this site’s corporate parent) predicts the total Western Europe mobile market to reach 310 million subscribers in 2005, with Germany accounting for 63 million.

Western Europe Mobile Subscribers
(in Millions)
  2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Germany 36 47 54 58 61 63
UK 31 37 41 43 45 46
France 29 35 41 44 46 48
Italy 40 44 46 48 49 50
Scandinavia 16 18 19 19 20 20
Total Western Europe 212 250 275 291 302 310
Source: Jupiter Research

The mobile surge could be led by camera-phone sales, as an ARC Group study forecasts the market to grow from 25 million mobile units sold in 2002 to 55 million consumers worldwide by the end of 2003. Like Gartner, ARC Group predicts that the mature markets will experience growth through upgrades, rather than first-time mobile buyers.

ARC Group predicts the entire mobile handset market to grow by 10.3 percent with consumers buying 444 million units by the end of 2003 — up from 402 million in 2002 — and handset sales are expected to reach 689 million by 2008.

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