Samsung scores in regional sales boom

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By  Published  December 1, 2006

Handset sales in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EEMEA) rose by 19% in the third quarter of 2006 compared to the corresponding period last year, according to new data by industry analyst Gartner. Total shipments topped 48 million units in the three territories combined, Gartner reported, with particularly strong gains reported in Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. Worldwide mobile handset sales totalled 251 million units in the quarter, which marked a 21.5% rise on Q3, 2005. Gartner found the Asia Pacific to be the fastest growing region during the surveyed period. As a result of the strong Q3 result, Gartner raised its mobile phone sales forecast to 986 million units in 2006, with 281 million units predicted to ship in the final quarter. “Although sales of replacement handsets in more mature markets during Q3 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 Carolina Milanesi, principal research analyst at Gartner. “We have also started to see increasing sales of replacement models in some emerging markets, which helped push up total sales in Q3. In a market where vendors compete on price, technology and strategic partnerships, it is impossible to believe that life is not getting much tougher for the smaller vendors. Nokia, Motorola and Samsung accounted for 68% of worldwide mobile sales in the third quarter of 2006.” Nokia retained its worldwide number one position with 35.1% market share, gaining 2.6% compared to the same period last year. Samsung Mobile eclipsed Motorola to take the number two position in EEMEA, boosted by sales of its D900 and E900 handsets. Gartner attributed Motorola’s disappointing quarter to slow sales of its Krzr handset and the delayed launch of its much-anticipated Motofone. Milanesi said Sony Ericsson was enjoying an “exceptional” period of growth, selling close to 20 million handsets in Q3 to consolidate its position as the world’s fourth largest handset supplier. Meanwhile, slowing sales of the KG800 Chocolate handset saw fifth placed LG’s market share slip. Gartner declared LG would continue to struggle unless it moved to quickly expand its handset portfolio.

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