Western European handset market grows after 5 quarters of declines

The Western European mobile phone market rose for the first time in the last 15 months. During the third quarter of 2009 the Western European market grew 5 per cent year-on-year, according to IDC's European Mobile Phone Tracker. ­Handset shipments totalled 46.8 million units, representing sequential growth of 11 per cent, which shows that consumer demand is picking up and operators are not so reluctant to stock up for the Christmas season.

"The mobile phone market is showing strong signs of improvement since the onset of the economic crisis," says Francisco Jeronimo, European mobile devices research manager with IDC. "The quarter's growth was supported by the traditional mobile phones (TMP), the biggest segment of the market, but affected by the trend towards smartphones. Samsung and LG have been particularly strong in the TMP segment, with their portfolios boosting sales of feature phones. On the other hand, converged mobile devices, or smartphones, saw negative growth due to the lack of materials and supply chain problems experienced by some of the major vendors, which were not able to supply the high demand from operators." Article