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October 18, 2007

ABI: Mobile Device Market Ended 3Q07 Ahead, Solid Year-end Results Expected

Third quarter 2007 results are now in for LG, Nokia, Samsung (News - Alert) and Sony Ericsson, and it appears that, for these companies at least, business is going well. That’s according to a new report out this week from ABI Research (News - Alert), in which the firm said the wireless infrastructure market did well during the recently ended quarter.

After crunching the numbers, ABI estimated that 288 million mobile device units were shipped during 3Q07, an increase of 10.5 percent quarter-over-quarter and 15.7 percent year-over-year. Such strong results indicate that vendors recovered from what ABI described as a “slightly soft” second quarter.
Given the results, ABI said, mobile device vendors are confident that the fourth quarter will serve up similarly stellar numbers, despite less-than-optimal consumer spending confidence in North America and Europe. ABI agreed, predicting that the global handset shipment market will end 2007 with 13.5 percent growth over 2006, translating to 1.13 billion devices shipped for the entire year.
ABI analyst Jake Saunders said the spotlight now falls on Motorola (News - Alert), with industry observers wondering whether the company’s “turnaround strategy” will generate results. Earlier in 2007, ABI explained, Motorola announced a pullback from emerging markets, despite the fact that such markets are typically credited for market share increases  by tier one device vendors.
Although the mobile devices market is dominated by Samsung, Sony-Ericsson, LG and Nokia, ABI noted that there is still room for other players—like Apple (News - Alert) and RIM—to disrupt the market with novel or distinctive devices.
The pace of innovation for mobile devices is hardly slowing, ABI analyst Stuart Carlaw noted in the report. Multimedia and corporate are the two most dynamic sectors of the market. For example, in Nokia’s (News - Alert) latest report the company noted sales of its N-Series (multimedia) and E-Series (enterprise) handsets, which delivered growth of 23 percent and 105 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the company’s mainstream mobile phone division saw only 3 percent net sales revenue growth.
Slider phone form factors, larger displays with touchscreens, enhanced personal entertainment features and WiFi connectivity are some of the hottest areas of development in the market currently, ABI said in its report.

To learn even more about mobile devices, check TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents free to registered users.

Mae Kowalke is an associate editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. She also blogs for TMCnet here.


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