Q1 handset sales down 13pc


According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global mobile handset shipments fell a huge 13 per cent year on year, to reach 245 million units in Q1 2009. However, results showed smartphone sales where on the up.

A decrease in stock orders by cautious retailers and a worldwide economic downturn caused handset shipments to fall at their fastest rate in the industry’s 27-year history, according to the group.

Strategy Analytics analyst Alex Spektor said: “Global handset shipments fell to 245 million units during Q1 2009, down a huge 13 percent from 282 million units a year earlier. A global economic downturn and cautious de-stocking by retailers caused the slowdown. Our records indicate that Q1 2009 represented the fastest ever decline in annual shipment growth since the modern cellphone industry began in 1983.”

Strategy Analytics director Neil Mawston added: “The first quarter of 2009 was an exceptionally tough period. Shipment growth contracted for all the top five major vendors, forcing some of them, such as Nokia, to rein in costs and slash thousands of jobs. However, one bright spot was found among the smartphone specialists. Apple, for example, more than doubled its volumes year-on-year due to healthy demand for its wildly popular 3G iPhone.”

According to Strategy Analytics’ Q1 2009 “Global Handset Market Share Update” report, Samsung was again the top performer among the big five vendors during the period. Samsung’s global market share hit an all-time high of 19 per cent, its success driven by an attractive portfolio of handsets for the high-growth touchscreen and QWERTY messaging markets.

Apple shipped 3.8 million iPhones worldwide in Q1 2009, up 123 per cent from 1.7 million units in Q1 2008. Apple’s 3.8 million iPhone shipments exceeded those of one of its main touchscreen rivals, the Nokia 5800, which recorded slightly lower global volumes of 2.6 million units during the quarter.