Smartphone Sales Up 27%

Mobile sales down 6%

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Global mobile phone sales reached 286.1 million units in the second quarter of 2009, a 6.1 percent decrease from the second quarter of 2008, according to a new report from Gartner.

Smartphone sales were a bright spot for the industry, surpassing 40 million units, a 27 percent increase from the same period last year, representing the fastest growing segment of the mobile devices market.

Carolina Milanesi, Research Director, Gartner
Carolina Milanesi
Research Director

"Despite the challenging market, some devices sold well as consumers who would usually have purchased standard midrange devices either cut back to less expensive handsets or moved up the range to get more features for their money," said Carolina Milanesi, research director at Gartner.

"Touchscreen and qwerty devices remained a major driver for replacement sales and benefited manufacturers with strong, touch-focused midtier devices. However, the decline in average selling price (ASP) accelerated in the first half of the year and particularly affected manufacturers that focus on midtier and low-end devices, where margins are already slim."

Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users in 2Q09

Nokia landed in the stop spot, but its portfolio remained heavily skewed toward low-end devices. Its N97 smartphone has sold 500,000 since launching in June compared to Apple’s iPhone 3G S, which sold 1 million units in its first weekend.

"The right high-end product and an increased focus on services and content are vital for Nokia if it wants to both revamp its brand and please investors with a more promising outlook in ASPs and margins," said Ms Milanesi.

Samsung and LG both had very a very solid second quarter with sales of 55 million units and 30.5 million units respectively. Samsung’s touchscreen devices, qwerty phones and smartphones drove sales in mature markets, and Gartner forecasts it will continue to gain market share in the second half of 2009 to close the gap with Nokia.

Apple’s entry into a larger number of countries in the past year has helped it boost sales, along with recent price adjustments on the 8GB 3G iPhone. Sales of 5.4 million units in the second quarter indicated a 509 percent growth in shipments and helped Apple remain in the No.3 position in the smartphone market.

"Smartphone sales were strong during the second quarter of 2009, with sales of 40.9 million units in line with Gartner’s forecast of 27 per cent year-on-year sales growth for 2009," said Ms Milanesi.

"Given the higher margins, smartphones offer the biggest opportunity for manufacturers. It is the fastest-growing market segment and the most resistant to declining ASPs."

Smartphone Sales Up 27%
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