Mobile handset growth soars to 18% in Q1

3 Jun 2003

According to the latest figures from technology research group Gartner, the mobile handset market witnessed welcome growth of 18% in the first quarter of 2003, with 112.7 million mobile handsets being sold in the three month period. Sales in the sector beat analyst expectations, and estimates suggest that full-year sales could reach around 470 million, around 10% higher than the 423 million reported for 2002. The market continues to be dominated by Nokia, which had a 35% share of worldwide sales at the end of the first quarter, while Motorola claimed the number two spot with 14.7%, although its position is being seriously threatened by Samsung, whose market share rose by 33% in the quarter to 10.5%. Sony Ericsson experienced a tough first quarter. It struggled to launch key products and saw its market share slip below 5% for the first time, while relative newcomer LG stole a 4.5% share. The rise in mobile handset sales can be attributed in part to the arrival of new models with built-in cameras and colour screens, tempting many people to replace their older handsets, while the launch of next-generation products such as Vodafone Live! and the 3G offering from 3 has heightened awareness in the sector.