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First-time mobile sales in decline

Mobile phone upgrades are set to outstrip first-time handset purchases this year, according to iSuppli.

Mobile phone upgrades are set to outstrip first-time handset purchases this year, according to iSuppli.

The market intelligence firm said this would be the first year upgrade sales had outpaced first-time purchases.

It said the number of upgrade handset sales was set to double that of first-time handset sales during the year.

Upgrade purchases will reach 712 million in 2007, the firm predicted, up from 454 million last year, and will continue to rise to more than one billion units by 2010.

First-time sales, meanwhile, are set to drop by a third to 342 million in 2007, according to iSuppli. The decrease will continue with sales reaching 201 million by 2010, less than a fifth of upgrade handset sales.

ISuppli said the slowdown in first-time handset sales was a reflection of a general decline in worldwide mobile phone subscriber growth. It said that after rising by an average of 25% from 2004 to 2006, global subscriber growth would decelerate to 12.8% in 2007.

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