Camera phone shipments jump 29%

Q3 shipments almost as many as Q1 and Q2 combined

EMEA mobile phone punters want cameraphones - if third-quarter sales are anything to go by. According to market watcher Canalys, some 4.9 million of the devices shipped in Q3 2003 - almost as many as shipped in the first two quarter of the year combined.

Q3 cameraphone shipments were up 29 per cent on Q2, Canalys said this week, taking the nine-month total to ten million units.

Both Sony Ericsson and Samsung saw shipments rise ahead of the average, with shipments growing sequentially by 48 per cent and 34 per cent, respectively.

By contrast, Nokia's shipments were down 3.2 per cent, but it still look the lion's share of the market - some 34.9 per cent of cameraphones shipped during Q3 had the Nokia name stamped upon them.

Sony Ericsson came in second place with 25.7 per cent of the EMEA market. Samsung was third (11.1 per cent), followed by Sharp (8.5 per cent). All the rest took a combined 15.3 per cent of the market.

Of course, Canalys' numbers reflect the units the vendors have pushed out into their various sales channels, rather than over-the-counter sales. Nokia was undoubtedly holding back for the current, more lucrative Christmas quarter.

Sales are likely to be strong, given the many 'free' phone offers retailers and networks are now dangling in front of buyers. Not to mention quite a few cameraphone upgrades being granted free of charge by networks to existing, cameraphone-less customers, all in a bid to get them sending money-spinning picture messages this festive season.

By 2006, over half of all mobile phones shipped will include cameras, Canalys reckons. ®

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