Mobile Phone Sales Hit New Highs

Nokia, Motorola, and Samsung remain on top of the market, researcher

Peter Sayer, IDG News Service
Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Mobile phone sales hit a new high in the first three months of the
year, while the top three manufacturers tightened their grip on the
market, according to a study published this week.

Mobile phone manufacturers sold 180.6 million phones between January 1
and March 31, an increase of 17 percent over the 153.7 million sold in
the first three months of last year, according to market analysts at
Gartner. The top three manufacturers now control over 60 percent of
the market, compared to 57.7 percent a year earlier.

Nokia sold 54.9 million phones in the quarter, 10.7 million more than
a year earlier, giving it a 30.4 percent share of the market, up from
28.8 percent a year earlier, according to the study. Nokia sold over
one-tenth of its phones in China, a success which Gartner attributed
to significant investments in marketing and distribution networks

Motorola sold 30.3 million phones, boosting its share of the market to
16.8 percent from 16.3 percent in the first quarter of 2004. Samsung
Electronics' share climbed to 13.3 percent, and that of LG Electronics
to 6.2 percent.

Siemens Slips

These gains were at the expense of Siemens, which saw its share of the
worldwide mobile phone market slip to 5.5 percent from 8 percent a
year earlier. The company was the only one to sell fewer phones this
year than last: 9.9 million in the quarter, compared to 12.3 million a
year earlier. The decline is a sign that network operators and other
distributors are losing confidence in Siemens and its products,
Gartner says. Last year, Siemens warned of a safety problem with some
of its phones, which could cause hearing damage in certain

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications slipped back one place in the
rankings, although its market share remained almost unchanged at 5.5
percent, down from 5.6 percent.

Although the market is growing, profit margins are shrinking, and
lower margins could drive lower-volume manufacturers to abandon the
market, Gartner says. That's already happening. Alcatel has sold its
mobile phone business, and Siemens has announced it is looking for a
buyer for its handset division.

Heartened by the strong first-quarter sales, Gartner now predicts 750
million mobile phones will be sold worldwide this year, 13 percent
more than last year. Previously, it had estimated sales would total
720 million for the year.,00.asp

"Until last October, Christ had a very limited involvement in my life. I believed in God; I just never had to prove I believed. Belief is an absence of proof."
-- Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling

See More: Mobile Phone Sales Hit New Highs