Handset sales down 18% in Q1

Global handset sales fell by 18 percent, or 50 million phones, in the first quarter of 2009, according to a Reuters poll. The economic recession that has impacted demand worldwide is expected to take a toll on handset vendors, including Nokia.

Handset vendors are expected to have a rough year in general, selling 11.4 percent fewer phones than they did in 2008. While smartphones remain a bright spot in the market, as evidenced by Research In Motion's better-than-expected results last week, the industry is bracing for a downturn.

South Korean firms Samsung and LG are expected to boost their market share despite dips in sales--mainly due to the relative weakness of Motorola and Sony Ericsson.

However, Nokia is on track to report its worst quarter in seven years. The Finnish company has been giving indications that even it is buckling under the strain of decreased demand, cutting jobs and suspending the use of outsourcing for manufacturing. Nokia's market share is expected to fall to 37.4 percent, down from 39.2 percent a year ago.

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Related Articles:
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Samsung expects continued U.S. growth
Nokia suspends use of subcontractors for manufacturing
ABI: Expect flat handset growth in 2010
Nokia cutting 1,700 jobs
Report: Nokia's smartphone market share dropping

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