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Mobile Phone Market Rebounds

Posted by: Olga Kharif on January 29, 2010

After retrenching for five consecutive quarters, sales of cell phones returned to growth in the fourth quarter of 2009, reports consultant IDC. In that period, mobile phone sales rose 11.3%, and vendors including Nokia, Samsung and LG shipped 325.3 million units worldwide. Full-year sales were still down 5.2%, to 1.13 billion handsets vs. 2008, according to IDC. IDC analyst Kevin Restivo called the rebound “dramatic.”

Yet, some vendors failed to benefit from this dramatic growth spurt. Take Motorola. The company reported yesterday that while its smartphone shipments increased in the fourth quarter, the company’s overall unit sales dropped, and its market share declined from 4.7% of the global market in the third quarter to 3.7% in the fourth. Motorola expects further shipment declines in the first quarter of this year. Based on IDC numbers, Motorola clearly underperforms the market.

Nokia, on the other hand, has done well. The company, which also reported on Jan. 28, announced it has gained some market share. Clearly, even as the market begins to rise, it’s not lifting all boats, though.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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