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Analysts debate mobile handset sale statistics


Sales of mobile handsets have not grown as quickly in 2008 as in previous years, according to new statistics.

Strategy Analytics reports that vendors shipped only 5.4% more handsets in the third quarter of this year than they shipped in the same period last year. This compares to a 13.2% improvement for the preceding comparable period and marks the worst single quarter of mobile phone growth in six years.

The outlook from IDC is even worse: they say handset sales rose just 3.2% in the most recent quarter, with no indication that the traditional Christmas boom period was on its way.

ABI Research takes a more positive approach. Its report, `Mobile Devices Market Sizing and Share`, says that vendors have been targeting end-users on tighter budgets, and that there is evidence of "momentum" in the third quarter despite the economic downturn.

The fourth quarter, says ABI, will be vital for mobile handset vendors and operators. There is a growing public appetite for smartphones, and vendors are likely to initiate aggressive marketing campaigns in the run-up to Christmas to encourage end-users to upgrade their handsets to smartphones.


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