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Nokia to sell over 200m units in 2004

Set to surpass 40% market share mark

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Next year, Nokia will surpass the 40 per cent market share mark and the overall mobile phone sector will experience 11 per cent growth, a new report has claimed.

Strategy Analytics, which released details of its research into the mobile phone market on Tuesday, said it is confident that growth in the mobile market will reach double digit figures in 2004 and by the end of that year, 507 million units will be shipped. In this healthy sector, market leader Nokia will ship more than 203 million units on the back of strong CDMA sales, the research company added.

Neil Mawston, senior analyst in the wireless device strategies service at Strategy Analytics, rejected suggestions that his company's growth forecasts were overly optimistic. "They are somewhere in the middle. I don't think they are conservative or excessive, many mobile phone companies are even predicting double figure growth, between ten and 12 per cent, for this year," Mawston said.

Strategy Analytics has predicted that mobile phone market growth in 2003 will be six percent, at rate Mawston described as good in light of inventory build-ups in China, SARS, the heat wave in Western Europe and the war in Iraq.

The research company puts global handset shipments for the second quarter of 2003 at 110.9 million, on strong CDMA sales in North America. While SARS and weak Chinese sales affected the Asia Pacific mobile market, hurting Motorola in particular, the company said that in Europe Sony Ericsson bolstered its sales with the introduction of new devices such as the T610. However, Mawston expressed concern over Sony Ericsson's less than seven per cent market share, saying the company may find it difficult to become profitable.

Earlier this month, other forecasters suggested that Nokia's market share was slipping, especially in North America, a sentiment Mawston disputed. "It [Nokia] keeps switching places with Motorola, between one and two, but they're not slipping" he said. "In fact, Nokia's CDMA sales have rebounded quite well."

According to the analyst, corporate budgets are likely to be larger next year and preparation for this can be seen in PC manufacturers and the expected stock market rally. As a result Mawston said that the 11 per cent growth rate to 507 million in 2004 is within reach. ®

Copyright © 2003, ENN

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