Following a record quarter of worldwide shipments, the worldwide mobile phone market slowed slightly in the first quarter of 2005 due to expected seasonality. According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, worldwide mobile phone shipments totaled 174.3 million units in 1Q05, decreasing 12.6% from the fourth quarter of 2004 but increasing 9.2% year over year.
Among the leading vendors, Nokia maintained its number 1 position within the industry, collecting 30.9% market share despite enduring the largest sequential decrease in shipments. U.S.-based Motorola once again captured second place with further penetration into Europe and leadership in the Americas. Samsung, the only company among the leading vendors to post a sequential gain, locked up third place and regained its momentum to catch up with Motorola after experiencing declining shipments in 2004. Holding steady in fourth place is LG Electronics, marking the company's third consecutive quarter of shipments greater than ten million. Returning to the top five is Sony Ericsson, which beat out former number 5 vendor Siemens by just one hundred thousand units.
"Most vendors have increased their shipment levels from a year ago, showing that despite a slight downturn from the previous quarter, consumer demand is still strong and vendors are prepared to meet that demand with a broad selection of phones," said Ramon Llamas, research analyst for IDC's Mobility Group. "Vendors have been stretching the limits on what phones can do and what they are supposed to look like. Telephony is still at the core of the mobile phone, but now it can be wrapped with features to satisfy different consumer tastes. What were once considered high-end features are now standard on many low-cost phones as vendors battle to gain market share and consumer attention."
Nokia - The Finnish company captured 30.9% of the market, resulting in year-on-year growth of 20.4%, but a sequential decline of 18.6%. Driving revenue and average selling price for the company was its line-up of high-end enterprise and multimedia phones. At the same time, Nokia sustained momentum in Europe and Asia, but lost ground in the Americas.
Motorola - Despite a sequential decline of 9.7%, Motorola closed out the first quarter of 2005 with 16.5% market share and year-on-year growth of 13.4%. The company announced 27 new models for the year including the SLVR and PEBL, variations of the popular RAZR V3. The company also renewed its effort to bring more enterprise devices to the market by investing in the Java+Linux platform for smartphones.
Samsung - The only company within the top five to post sequential growth (16.1%), Samsung captured 14.1% market share and year-on-year growth of 22.5%. By boosting shipments in the first quarter while other vendors decreased shipments after a busy fourth quarter, the Korean company was able to regain momentum to catch up with Motorola, shrinking the difference from ten million units last quarter to slightly more than four million units this quarter.
LG Electronics - Securing its spot as the number 4 vendor with 6.4% market share, LG saw year-on-year growth of 26.9% and a sequential decline of 20.1% from 4Q04. The company reported that more than half its shipments went to North America, the largest proportion of any other vendor in the top five.
Sony Ericsson - After a brief hiatus out of the top five, the 50-50 venture returned to wrest fifth place away from Siemens. The company captured 5.4% market share, declining 25.4% from the previous quarter but growing 6.8% from a year ago. The company released few new products to keep up with its maturing product line, but announced a lineup of high end and specialty phones to come out later in the year.