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Euro phone shipments jumped 16% in Q3

3G demand still lukewarm, but growing

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Mobile phone makers pumped 39.5m handsets into Western Europe during Q3, 16 per cent more than they did in Q3 2004 and five per cent more than Q2 2004, market watcher IDC said yesterday.

The number of 3G handsets shipped almost doubled between Q3 2004 and Q3 2005, rising from 2.38m to 4.74m, respectively seven per cent and 12 per cent of the total.

Many of the 3G handsets came from Nokia, which also contributed significantly to the rise in smart-phone shipments, courtesy of its increasingly broad-based Series 60/Symbian software combination. According to IDC, smart-phone shipments accounted for seven per cent of third-quarter Western European handset shipments, up from four per cent in the year-ago quarter.

Smart-phone shipments grew 103.7 per cent year on year, from 1.36m units to 2.77m, IDC's numbers show. Shipments were up three per cent sequentially. Again, much of that growth was Nokia's doing, as it continued to push Series 60 into the mainstream.

Motorola and Samsung continued their battle to be the biggest mobile phone shipper after Nokia, which unsurprisingly retained its leadership of the market by a long margin. Samsung nosed ahead of Motorola, shipping 6.2m units to Moto's 6m, and grabbing 16 per cent of the market in the process. Motorola quit the quarter with a market share of 15 per cent - both companies' shares were less than half Nokia's dominant 36 per cent share.

Samsung and Motorola nonetheless experienced the biggest year-on-year growth among the top-ten vendors, with unit shipments rising 100 per cent and 71 per cent, respectively. Nokia's growth was a more modest but still above-average 20 per cent.

The best Sony Ericsson could manage was five per cent growth, which left it with 12 per cent of the market, down from 13 per cent a year ago.

Siemens' decision to pull out of the mobile phone market appears justified: its units shipments plunged 44 per cent, accompanied by a halving of its market share, from 15 per cent to seven per cent, in a quarter that saw the company announce the sale of its handset division to BenQ.

All the remaining vendors saw their combined shipments fall seven per cent, leaving them with 14 per cent of the market. ®

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