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World mobile phone shipments up 29.3% for the year
Posted: 28-Jan-2005 [Source: IDC]

[IDC reports that the worldwide mobile phone market jumped 4Q04 to its highest level ever.]

Framingham, MA -- Following two consecutive quarters of steady growth, the worldwide mobile phone market jumped during the fourth quarter to its highest level ever. According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, worldwide mobile phone shipments totaled 194.3 million units in 4Q04, growing 18.1% sequentially and 24% year over year. For the full year 2004, worldwide mobile phone shipments increased 29.3% over 2003.

The fourth quarter marked Nokia's second consecutive quarter with market share above 30%. The Finnish company strengthened its product line-up with devices aimed at entry level, business, and fashion conscious users. As a result of its efforts, Nokia firmly maintained its spot as top vendor in the industry. The companies in the next four spots saw increased activity as well. Motorola reached record level shipments, claimed 16.4% of the market, and distanced itself from Samsung by more than ten million units. Third place Samsung, after spending most of 2004 steadily closing the gap against Motorola, saw its shipments decrease to levels it had not seen since the start of 2004, but managed to retain 10.9% of the market. Finally, LG Electronics climbed another notch to supplant Siemens for the number 4 spot and 7.2% market share, but only 0.3% separated the two companies.

"Growth during the fourth quarter was largely fueled by vendors who offered a balanced portfolio of innovative features, technology, and style. Additionally, vendors continued to upgrade their product lines, improving features such as improved screen and camera capabilities as well as introducing more phones with 3G technology. Combined with phones introduced earlier in the year, vendors were able to offer a range of entry-level, mid-range, and high-end phones," said Ramon Llamas, research analyst in IDC's Mobile Devices Group. "Now that there is more clarity among the top three spots, the competition will continue to heat up for the final two positions. The difference in shipments between LG Electronics and Siemens is slight, with recent public comments questioning the latter's opportunity going forward. Sony Ericsson trails closely behind the two, poised to re-enter the top five."

Vendor Highlights

* Nokia - Shipments from the market leader reached 66.1 million units in 4Q04, an increase of 28.6% over the previous quarter and 19.4% from one year ago. Nokia began shipping nine new models, half of which included cameras and color screens. In an effort to meet changing customer tastes, Nokia also introduced new clamshell phones. At the same time, seven new models were announced for 2005, with models aimed at the entry- and business-level user.

* Motorola - Motorola reached a record high of 31.8 million shipments, a 36.5% sequential increase and a 57.4% increase from a year ago. With over twenty new devices introduced to the market, including the release of the heavily marketed RAZR V3, Motorola cemented its number 2 spot in the market. In addition to the RAZR, the company refreshed its portfolio with a series of GSM, CDMA, 3G, and iDEN phones as well two converged mobile devices.

* Samsung - After reporting flat growth in the third quarter, Samsung's worldwide mobile phone shipments decreased to 21.1 million units, representing a sequential decrease of 7% but an increase of 36% compared to one year ago. Although the company saw an overall decline in shipments, mirrored by a 2.9% decrease in market share from the previous quarter, shipments to Asia and Europe grew 2 and 3% respectively.

* LG Electronics - LG continued its ascent into the top five, taking over the number 4 spot from Siemens. On the strength of shipping 13.9 million units, LG posted a 55.3% year-on-year increase and 17.8% sequential increase. Whereas Samsung saw a decrease in shipments to the US, much of LG's growth came from increased CDMA and GSM shipments to the US. At the same time, LG matched Motorola in the number of 3G shipments.

* Siemens - Rounding out the top 5 vendors, Siemens surrendered the number 4 position to LG in 4Q04. While the company's 6.3% shipment increase from last quarter brought Siemens to within 400,000 units of LG, shipments still reflected an 11.4% decrease from a year ago despite the typically strong holiday season. Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide Mobile Phone Shipments and Market Share, 2004 (Preliminary)

Rank Vendor 2004 Shipments 2004 Market Share

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1 Nokia 207,600,000 31.2%

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2 Motorola 104,500,000 15.7%

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3 Samsung 86,500,000 13.0%

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4 Siemens 49,400,000 7.4%

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5 LGE 44,400,000 6.7%

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Other 172,000,000 25.9%

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Total 664,500,000 100.0%

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Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.

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