Nokia steadies in booming phone market

620 million phones this year

Nokia's price cuts seem to have cauterized the company's catastrophic loss of market share, according to figures from Gartner. With over 46 million units shipped into the channel, Nokia took 29.7 per cent of the worldwide handset market in the second quarter of 2004, up from 28.4 per cent in the previous quarter, but down from the 38 per cent share it enjoyed last year. In a bid to stop the rot, Nokia has set sweeping price cuts of between 20 and 25 per cent, according to channel reports.

Motorola fell slightly to 15.8 per cent, and Samsung took third spot with 12.1 per cent. However, Gartner hinted that Samsung was stuffing the channel, with not all of the units shipped reaching end users.

Worldwide, Brazil and Mexico led the phone boom, with sales in the APAC region down slightly. The overall picture looks healthy with Gartner again revising 2004 figures upwards to 620 million units. But Gartner analyst Ben Wood warned the manufacturers against getting carried away. Overproduction this year will only mean excess inventory next year. ®

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