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Samsung creeps up on Motorola

Thanks to clamshell phones

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Samsung's share of the global mobile phone market has jumped 34 per cent since last year, thanks to the success of its clamshell phones with digital cameras.

At this time last year, Samsung had just 10.3 per cent of the global market, but it now holds a 13.8 per cent share, having shipped 22.7m phones in the third quarter to the end of September.

According to the latest figures from In-Stat/MDR, Samsung is still a long way off market-leading Nokia, which has a 31.2 per cent share of the market. But it does mean that the Korean mobile manufacturer threatens the second-place position of Motorola, which has a 14.1 per cent market share.

"On a global basis [Samsung's] success is distribution and product branding," said Neil Mawston, senior analyst with Strategy Analytics, speaking to ElectricNews.net. "Their handsets are more widely distributed than before and the product quality and design quality have all improved significantly."

He said that consumers were looking for alternatives to the so-called "candy bar" form factor and were looking to upgrade from black-and-white screens, and that Samsung had developed some of the best alternatives.

Siemens is now the fourth-biggest mobile phone manufacturer in terms of market share, followed by LG and Sony Ericsson, with a 7.2 per cent, 7.1 per cent and 6.5 per cent market share, respectively.

Total mobile phone shipments for the third quarter were 165m. In-Stat/MDR forecasts full-year shipments of 653m mobile phones, a 22 per cent increase over last year. It also predicted that unit shipments would grow to around 705m units in 2005.

The other important trend in mobile sales is the recovery of Nokia. It has now regained the market share it enjoyed at this time last year, and its market share is bigger than it was for the two previous quarters, having shipped 51.4m handsets in the third quarter.

Nokia has regained its lost market share by cutting handset prices. This strategy paid off in Western Europe, although it had no effect in North and South America, since the company continued to lose market share. Samsung and LG made considerable gains in those markets over the same period.

The In-Stat/MDR figures tallied with a report released by Strategy Analytics at the end of October. However, Strategy Analytics predicted a higher overall shipment total for 2004 of 670m.

Copyright © 2004, ENN

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