Booming India, China drive global mobile phone sales
Wednesday, 22 November 2006, 06:00 Hrs
London: Global mobile phone sales raced ahead by 21.5 percent to 251 million units in the third quarter of the current calendar year, powered by strong growth in Asia, notably India and China, a survey released Wednesday showed.
Drawn up by the telecoms and technology market research group, Gartner Inc, and released in Britain, the survey showed the Asia-Pacific chalking up the world's fastest growing rate with mobile phone sales racing ahead by 54.7 percent.
This helped to lead Gartner to revise up its full-year forecast for the mobile phone business, despite a fall in mobile phone sales in Japan.
With mobile phone markets in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa also turning in solid performances, Gartner mobile phone analyst Carolina Milanesi said the buoyant sales in less developed parts of the world helped to compensate for more sluggish results in leading industrial economies.
The Gartner survey also showed the world's three leading mobile phone makers - Finland's Nokia, America's Motorola and Japan's Samsung - continuing to strengthen their grip on the global market.
"Although sales of replacement handsets during the third quarter in the more mature markets were not as buoyant as we have been accustomed to, they were offset by continuing momentum in sales to first-time buyers in emerging markets," said Milanesi.
"We have also started to see increasing sales of replacement models in some emerging markets, which helped push up total sales in the third quarter," she said.
Sales by the three top mobile phone makers represented 68 percent of the total worldwide sales during the three months to the end of September.
With Nokia having built up its market share to 35.1 percent during the third quarter, it retained its ranking as the world's leading mobile phone manufacturer, the survey showed.
Commenting on the surging sales in the Asia-Pacific region, Gartner said that in emerging markets, the growth of retailers and the expansion of distribution channels have enhanced sales, particularly in India, Indonesia and the Philippines.
It said handset vendors have worked alongside carriers' expansion into new areas by proving ultra-low-cost phones or discounted entry-level phones to low-income users.
But despite the strong growth in Asia, the survey showed overall mobile terminals sales in Japan falling by 4.7 percent during the quarter.
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