Economic problems impact mobile phone market

In the third quarter of 2008 the percentage growth in mobile phone sales worldwide declined to less than half that achieved in the same period in 2007. According to Gartner's latest mobile phone market analysis, total sales were 309 million units in Q3, a six per cent increase on Q3 2007. The global economic crisis is the main factor impacting on sales.

Market leading manufacturers Nokia and Samsung held up well under the impact of the global economic downturn although the former experienced lower replacement sales in mature and emerging markets. The main effects of the economic problems were felt in the battle for the world number three position currently raging between Sony Ericsson, LG and Motorola. The Gartner report says Sony Ericsson emerged as the winner in the third quarter largely because of the problems being experienced by its rivals.

Mobile phone sales in Western Europe were 43.5 million units in Q3, down from 47.2 million units in 2007. A slowdown in replacement sales adversely affected market performance in the region and will continue to do so in the fourth quarter says Gartner. In Eastern Europe, although a number of countries including Russia, Hungary, the Ukraine and Romania were badly affected by the financial crisis, this did not translate into a downturn in mobile phone sales.

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