IDC: U.S. handset sales to decline sharply in 2009

The drop in handset sales caused by slumping demand amid the economic recession will be far worse in the United States than in the rest of the world, according to new research by IDC.

The research firm predicts that U.S. handset sales will drop 14.8 percent in 2009 compared to 2008, and that globally handset sales will be down 8.3 percent for the year. IDC also reduced its expected growth rate for smartphones from 8.6 percent to 3.4 percent.

Established markets in the West and in Japan will see significant declines in sales, while runaway growth rates in Brazil, Russia, India and China are expected to slow.

In the United States, traditional handset sales will decline 20.3 percent, according to IDC and smartphones will grow 7.9 percent. However, in one bright spot in the report, IDC is predicting an overall U.S. growth rate of 6.1 percent in 2010.

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