FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -– The worldwide market for mobile phones continued to grow in the third quarter of 2003, driven by strong demand for new handsets from first-time buyers in emerging markets as well as replacement buyers in mature markets. According to IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone QView, worldwide mobile phone shipments grew by 21.2% year-over-year in 3Q03 and increased sequentially by 14.0% to 130.1 million units. Nokia maintained its top position in the market while LG Electronics regained the number 5 spot from Sony Ericsson.
In addition to the market’s impressive year-over-year growth of 21.2%, the top 5 mobile phone vendors continued to gain back market share after a dip in 1Q03. After dropping from 77.3% of the market in 4Q02 to 71.4% in 1Q03, the top 5 vendors have reclaimed much of their lost market share in 3Q03 with 76.6% of the market. At the same time, 3Q03 was the first quarter of 2003 during which the top 5 vendors all posted positive sequential growth. However, with a growing number of vendors from Asia entering the worldwide market, it remains to be seen if the top vendors can maintain their hold on market-share.
“Consumer demand continued to build across all market segments in the third quarter, driving healthy performances for the top 5 vendors,” said David Linsalata, analyst, in IDC’s Mobile Devices program. “The proliferation of cameraphones and color phones into the worldwide market continues to spark consumer interest in new handsets and spur the mobile phone market to higher growth.”
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