Middle East profits from mobile handset growth

Emerging MEA and Eastern European markets demonstrate their appeal.

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By  Administrator Published  April 1, 2007

Research house Gartner Dataquest has revealed that end-users in the Middle East, Africa and Eastern European region purchased 52.4 million mobile phones in the fourth quarter of 2006.

The figure marks a healthy 13% growth on the previous year and underscores the increased commitment that a number of vendors are making in developing markets. Both Samsung and LG have expanded their focus on emerging markets and tried to challenge the might of Nokia and Motorola in recent months, helping to push the value of the overall market up to 185 million units during 2006, according to Gartner.

Meanwhile, Gartner said that overall worldwide sales of mobile phones fell short of one billion for the entire year as inventory levels built in the channel during the final three months of the year. Data shows that Nokia extended its share of the market to almost 35% while Motorola cemented second place by securing more than 21% of the market.

Third-placed Samsung lost market share despite growing unit sales, leaving Sony Ericsson to close the gap to 4.4 percentage points.

"We look forward to another exciting year in the mobile phone industry with more technologies becoming available and new players from other industries entering and adding some spice to an already very highly competitive market," said Carolina Milanesi, prinicpal analyst for mobile terminals research at Gartner. "We expect growth to slow down and overall mobile phone sales to be up to 1.2 billion units worldwide," she added.

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