A new report from the research house, IDATE, states that the mobile handset market will grow by 8.42% until 2011 - meaning that the number of mobile phones shipped in 2011 will total 1.43 billion units, up from the 1.14 billion handsets sold over the course of 2007.
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The new figures show, however, that while sales of handsets will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, the actual rate of growth is slowing as more and more markets become supersaturated, even in some sectors of emerging markets. Last year the rate of increase in the sale of mobiles was at 15% globally, this year it will be almost half of that.
Among the handset vendors, Nokia and Samsung stand out. Over the course of the first three quarters of 2007 (the final figures for Q4 have yet to be released) Nokia's share of the global market was 38%, Samsung was at 15%, Motorola slumped to 14%, SonyEricsson has 9% and LG 7%.
The figures also revealed that 14.7% of all mobile phones sold over the course of last year were 3G devices - equating to 167 million units - but consumer uptake of the technology and 3G services and applications remains disappointing overall. However, the research forecasts that the use of the technology will continue to increase slowly, and by 2011 the 3G market will account for 403.1 million units, or 29.9% of the total global market.
Interestingly, the sale of HSDPA handsets became a significant factor for the first time in Q3 of 2007 when 11.5 million units were shipped. HSDPA devices thus accounted for 1% of all handsets sold over the course of last year.
For further information, visit IDATE.