November 8, 2004 The global mobile telephone market continues to grow, with research company In-Stat/MDR forecasting 2004 global shipments of mobile phones will increase 22% this year to 653 million units.
Nokia remained the number one cell phone manufacturer in the world in the third quarter of this year, according to In-Stat. In the period ending September 30th, Nokia had 31.2% market share, virtually unchanged from a year earlier, but up slightly from the two previous quarters. Nokia shipped 51.4 million handsets in the quarter. Nokia was able to regain some lost market share by sharply cutting handset prices. It paid off in Western Europe, which showed substantial gains. In North America and Latin America, however, the company lost ground. At the same time, Samsung and LG made sizeable gains.
Motorola held onto second place, but just barely. The U.S.-based manufacturer shipped 23.3 million units, giving it a 14.1% market share, up from 13.9% in the same period a year ago, but down sequentially from the second quarter.
Close on Motorola's heels was South Korean maker Samsung, which shipped 22.7 million units, or 13.8% market share. Samsung's share has been rising steadily. A year ago, it was 10.3%. Over the course of a year, Samsung's share has grown 34%, thanks to its quick-to-market approach with mid-tier clamshell phones that feature colour displays and integrated digital cameras.
The next three by market share were: Siemens at number four with an estimated share of 7.3% (it reports earnings Nov. 11), LG number five (7.2%), and Sony Ericsson number six (6.5%).
LG has enjoyed steady growth this year. The South Korean manufacturer leapfrogged London-based Sony Ericsson in the quarter as it shipped 11.8 million phones. Sony Ericsson's shipments were up sequentially to 10.7 million units. LG's growth was attributed to strong sales of GSM and CDMA phones in North America, and an expanding WCDMA market in Europe.
Next year will bring a slowdown, with growth between 7% and 9%, or roughly 705 million units.