Mobile Phone Market Set to Rocket – 600 Million Phones Sold This Year?

Gartner are predicting healthy business for the worldwide mobile phone market this year, since 153 million unites were sold win the first quarter of 2004, up 34% on the same period last year.

“Another record quarter of mobile phone sales resulted from an Asia/Pacific market buoyed by purchases for the Chinese New Year, healthy growth in emerging markets and surprising numbers of people in mature markets choosing to upgrade their phones,” said Ben Wood, principal analyst for mobile terminals research at Gartner. “Based on first quarter results, we believe worldwide mobile phone sales will exceed 600 million units in 2004.”

The top five phone vendors (Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Siemens and Sony Ericsson) all saw increases this year, though Nokia lost 5.7% of its market share. Nokia’s bad news is possibly attributable to a less than dazzling range of products this year and a number of network operators in Western Europe sourcing their phones from the Finnish company’s competitors.

Mobile phone sales in North America grew 30%, with customers opting for colour displays and integrated cameras, demonstrating that America is catching up with Europe both in percentage penetration and the sophistication of the handsets available.


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?