Mobile unit sales start to slow

After months of high growth, worldwide mobile phone shipments have begun to slow down, according to the latest quarterly mobile phone tracker from IDC.

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By  Administrator Published  April 26, 2007

After months of high growth, worldwide mobile phone shipments have begun to slow down, according to the latest quarterly mobile phone tracker from IDC.

Mobile phone shipments in the first quarter of 2007 were 13.8% lower than those of the previous quarter, despite growing 10% year-on-year to 256.4 million units, the research firm said. The year-on-year growth rate has also declined: in 2006 it topped 20% each quarter, according to IDC.

The shift marks the beginning of a slowdown in the mobile phone market as fewer new subscribers buy cellular handsets, IDC said.

Overall growth will continue, the firm added, but at a slower rate as mobile phone shipments increasingly move from being new handsets for first-time users to replacement handsets for seasoned users.

Nokia continued to top the vendor rankings, shipping 91.1 million units during the quarter and holding a 35.5% share of the market.

Number two player Motorola, however, experienced a decline in Q107, shipping 45.4 million units versus 46.1 million in the first quarter of 2006.

"While Motorola announced plans to revamp growth, the sudden shift in momentum demonstrates how competitive this industry is," said Ryan Reith, research analyst for IDC.

Third place Samsung, meanwhile, shipped nearly 6,000 more phones in Q107 than it did in Q106.

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