Handset shipments down 6pc


The Western European handset market recorded another quarter of year-on-year declines in the second quarter of 2009, according to figures released by IDC analysts. The analyst firm predicts recovery in the mobile handset market will emerge in 2011.

Handset manufacturers shipped 42 million units to Western Europe, down six per cent from Q2 2008. The second quarter results are an improvement on the 14 per cent decrease in Q1 2009, but the economic crisis will continue to impact the region, according to IDC.

However the growth in smartphones continues to be a major trend in Western Europe. While ‘traditional’ handset sales declined 12 per cent during the quarter to 33.2 million units, smartphones experienced a 25 per cent increase during the quarter to 8.8 million units.

European mobile devices research manager for IDC Francisco Jeronimo said: “The first six months of the year were very challenging to both vendors and operators in Western Europe. The market was hit hard by the financial crisis, and demand mobile for phones slumped as never experienced before.

“Since Q2 2008, the market has been suffering from negative growth, with the bottom line being hit in Q1 2009. Despite the slight improvement in the second quarter of 2009, we will continue to see negative growth throughout the coming quarters, with full market recovery being seen only in 2011.”

For the full year, IDC believes that the Western European market will decline 10 per cent.

Demand for converged mobile devices will continue to grow, but will not be strong enough to reverse the overall market decline as they represent only 21 per cent of total shipments. On the other hand, sales of traditional handsets will continue to decline, though at a lower rate, as manufacturers adjust their portfolios to bring more features to low-end devices.

For the first time, Samsung and LG together shipped more devices to Western Europe than Nokia. The two Korean rivals gained 12 and 71 percentage points in market share respectively, while Nokia lost 19 per cent.

Nokia continues to be the market leader, with 36.3 per cent market share, but the gap to Samsung, the second biggest vendor with 28.9 per cent market share, continues to diminish. On the other hand, LG continues to challenge Sony Ericsson’s market position (it lost 18 percentage points), and the success of its touch screen handsets allowed LG to obtain 11.5 per cent market share, its highest ever for Western Europe.

Nokia shipped 15.3 million units, down from 19 million in Q2 last year. Samsung shipped 12.2 million units, up from 10.9 million in Q2 last year. Sony Ericsson shipped 5.1 million units, down from 6.2 million in the same period last year.

Apple shipped 1.4 million units, up from 0.2 million in Q2 last year, landing it three per cent market share. RIM’s BlackBerry range shipped 1.2 million, up from 0.8 million, also landing it three per cent market share. Other handset manufacturers shipped two million units, all sharing five per cent of the market.