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Mobile phones shipments up 38% in Q4

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More mobile phones shipped in the last three months of 2004 than in any other quarter in history. Gosh. Thanks, Strategy Analytics, for that breathless statistic.

How many is more? The market watcher puts the total at 200m, which took 2004's grand total to a similarly Guinness-worrying 684m units - 32.3 per cent more than the 517m shipped in the previous record-holding year, 2003.

This year will be even better, SA forecast yesterday. Growth will slow to just eight per cent, but that's enough to see some 735m handsets shipping around the world in 2005. The fall is attributable to upgrade activity in mature handset markets and a slowdown in the number of new subscribers coming on stream in developing arenas.

Nokia dominated Q4, shipping more than double Motorola, its nearest rival:66.1m units to 31.8m. The Finnish giant boosted its market share to 33.1 per cent - still not up to 2003's quarterly highs, but its best quarter this year.

According to SA, Motorola didn't quite lose out to Samsung during Q3 - although other market watcher suggested it did cede the number two slot in that quarter - and widened the gap in Q4. Motorola took 15.9 per cent of the market, to Samsung's 10.6 per cent. Indeed, Samsung shipped fewer handsets in Q4 than it did the previous quarter.

Siemens ceded fourth place in the market to LG during Q4. LG retained seven per cent of the market in both Q3 and Q4, but Siemens' share fell from 7.6 per cent to 6.8 per cent. Sony Ericsson share slipped sequentially too, by a tenth of a percentage point to 6.3 per cent.

Year on year, the big winners were LG, Sony Ericsson and Samsung, all of which showed big unit shipment increases above the industry average. Motorola just beat the average, but Nokia and Siemens showed below par growth.

Q4 2004 Mobile Phone Shipments
Full-year Rank Vendor Q4 Shipments
(millions)
Q4 Market Share 2004 Shipments
(millions)
2004 Market Share 2003-2004 Growth
1 Nokia 66.1 33.1% 207.6 30.4% 15.5%
2 Motorola 31.8 15.9% 104.5 15.3% 39.2%
3 Samsung 21.1 10.6% 86.6 12.7% 55.5%
4 Siemens 13.5 6.8% 49.4 7.2% 14.1%
5 LG 13.9 7% 44.4 6.5% 61.5%
6 Sony Ericsson 12.6 6.3% 42.5 6.2% 56.3%
  Others 40.6 20.3% 148.5 21.7% 35.6%
  Total 199.6   683.5   32.2%
Source: Strategy Analytics

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Nokia smiles through falling profits
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Mobile open-standards group recruits key players
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World phone shipments to slip in Q4 - analyst
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