Handset market sales slow in Q2

8 Sep 2003

The effects of increased market saturation and the slow rate of consumers replacing handsets helped contribute to a 2.4% fall in sales, year-on-year, in the western European mobile market, according to research from IDC. In the three months to 30 June 2003 the industry’s leading vendors found it increasingly difficult to make headway in convincing users to replace their old handsets, proving that while manufacturers are becoming better at targeting customers and reducing their costs, new advanced technologies and applications are failing to attract the widespread consumer interest necessary to drive the sector. Finland’s Nokia was one of the few to buck the general downward trend, increasing its market share to 53.4% from 50.3% at the end of June 2002, on the strength of a 3.7% rise in handset sales to just over 13.08 million. Korea’s Samsung too consolidated its fifth-placed position, boosting unit sales 4.5% to 2.82 million. However, elsewhere the picture was far different. Second placed Siemens saw its market share fall marginally from 13.4% to 13.2% thanks to a 3.3% drop in sales volume to 3.24 million, while number three vendor Sony Ericsson reported a 20.4% slump in sales to 2.15 million and a two percentage point drop in share to 8.8%. Motorola hung on to fourth spot despite witnessing a 15.6% drop in shipments to 2.07 million and a small fall in its share from 9.8% to 8.4%, while the share controlled by other smaller players remained unchanged at 11.5%, despite a 2% fall in units to 2.82 million.