Handsets shipments survive Japan quake

The earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March won’t hit global device production as hard as expected, with Gartner estimating vendors have several weeks-worth of components in stock.
Manufacturers currently have up to seven weeks-worth of finished products in the channel and four weeks of components stocks, meaning sales to end-users should remain flat during 2Q despite a marginal dip in shipments into the channel, the firm states.
Gartner’s confidence stems from a steady 1Q, when sales to end users grew 19% to 427.8 million units. Smartphones fuelled the growth, accounting for 23.6% of sales, and will continue to drive the market thanks to a raft of lower-priced, mid-tier, units. Roberta Cozza, principal analyst at the firm, speculates that consumers held off buying new smartphones to wait for “a number of high-profile devices” that were announced in the first quarter, but aren’t due until the second quarter.
Nokia remained the market leader in 1Q with 107.6 million units shipped, followed by Samsung (68.7 million) and LG Electronics (23.9 million).