Feeds

Europeans' mobile love affair continues

And Nokia still top dog

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

It seems European mobile phone owners can't help investing in new devices as market penetration surpasses 100 per cent and continues to grow.

New figures show the number of handsets shipped in Western Europe increased seven percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2006, indicating the mobile phone market continues to show solid growth, regardless of suggestions that continued development is unsustainable.

Despite speculation that the traditional mobile phone market is nearing saturation point, shipments increased to 41.4m units compared to 38.5m in the same quarter a year earlier.

According to analysts at IDC, many Western European markets have moved past 100 per cent saturation, leaving little room for growth, and many operators are cutting their product portfolios.

However, movement of WCDMA - or 3G - handsets into affordable price brackets, and the widespread availability of fully-featured phones helped drive the market during the quarter.

Growth in converged devices is also coming into line with the general mobile phone market. These are phones and other handhelds which can be synchronised with servers, desktop PCs, or laptop computers and can handle personal information or email.

In recent quarters, these devices have outperformed the traditional mobile phones in terms of growth, but this quarter saw the converged devices edge ahead by a smaller margin. This has been partly attributed to the growth in popularity of "feature" phones.

"The advantages of an open, evolved operating system for manufacturers, operators, and developers with regard to cost, time to market, and rich customisation advantages are undeniable," said IDC's European Mobile Devices and Computing manager Andrew Brown.

"However, from the perspective of most consumers, the advanced capability is still either deemed unnecessary or lies invisible behind considerations such as form factor and multimedia capability," Brown added.

Nokia remains the top handset manufacturer; shipping 14.5m devices during the quarter. This was followed by Motorola, with 7.1m, and by Samsung with 5.1m units. Sony Ericsson is trailing in fourth place, with 4.5m handsets shipped.

"Nokia is undoubtedly making substantial progress with the S60 [platform] in the consumer space. However, the lack of commercial success other licensees have had with the platform is indicative of the dilemma faced by many vendors," said IDC senior research analyst Geoff Blaber.

"With demand for feature phones still strong, the prospect of high initial costs before the advantages of platformisation can be realised is an inhibitor to widespread migration to an evolved operating system (OS) for consumer devices. Technology demands will command the move in the longer term but the migration is proving slower than vendors, operators, and commentators anticipated."

IDC's quarterly data was released a day before new figures for Symbian showed shipments of handsets using its software rose 58 percent during the quarter. The software allows mobile phones to take photos, go online and play music, with manufacturers such as Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Motorola loading the software onto their handsets. According to Symbian, its software was used in 12.3m phones during the quarter.

Copyright © 2006, ENN

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.