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EMEA handset shipments top 89 million

Mobile phone shipments reached 89 million units during 1Q07 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Mobile phone shipments reached 89 million units during 1Q07 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa representing a 9% year-on-year rise, according to figures published by analyst firm IDC.

"An increasing emphasis on fast growing, developing markets in CEMA (Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa), as well as in other regions, has resulted in a shift in the handset product mix to mid-range and low-end handsets," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, senior research analyst, European Mobile Devices at IDC.

Average selling prices (ASPs) for devices continued to decline, causing some vendors to introduce a series of revenue moves such as lengthening post-pay contract terms. Other measures included handset portfolio rationalisation, by lowering costs and increasing smartphone portfolios to try and protect ASPs, claimed IDC analysts.

"In order for vendors to be successful, it will become increasingly critical not only to balance mobile device portfolios and product mix, but also to identify where synergies exist with other manufacturers in order to lower costs," said Andrew Brown, programme manager, European Mobile Devices and Computing at IDC.

"It will also be important to focus on strategic areas within the portfolio, such as smart phones, in order to gain market share while at the same time protecting margins," he added.

IDC also claimed that the mobile phone market is becoming increasingly polarised, due to rapid consolidation in the handset market where shipments among the industry's top 4 vendors accounted for 86% of the market in 1Q07.

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