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Phone shipments to fall short of one billion figure
Posted: 09-Oct-2006 [Source: IMS Researh]

[Worldwide mobile phone shipments for 2006 to fall short of the one billion figure reports IMS Research.]

Wellingborough, U.K. -- Worldwide shipments of mobile phones are forecast to fall short of the landmark figure of one billion units this year although this will be surpassed in 2007. The latest update of IMS Research's cellular database has resulted in an upgrade of its annual shipments to 950 million in 2006, nearly double those recorded in 2003. This level of growth has been driven on two fronts: firstly by increased replacement rates in the more mature markets across Europe, North America and parts of Asia, and secondly rapidly increasing penetration in the developing markets in Africa, Asia and some Latin American and Eastern European countries.

Research Director, John Devlin, said "The continuing introduction of greater functionality and sophistication, combined with the improved variety and focus on design has resulted in a greater desire factor for consumers in more mature markets." He continued, "Simultaneously, the standardisation of handset platforms combined with the falling cost of components has resulted in lower costs across the handset tiers."

Bill Morelli, Cellular Analyst, picked up on the theme adding, "Advanced functionality continues to filter down into lower level handsets. Much has been made of ultra-low cost handsets and they do have their market but these developments have also seen such features as MP3 players and 1.3MP cameras in the traditional basic feature phone space. Models with such capability can now be picked up on pre-paid deals for 100/150 Euro in many regions."

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