Nokia, LG, Samsung Boost Handset Shipments

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Nokia, LG and Samsung all grew market share, as an analyst reports that 269 million handsets were shipped in the second quarter of 2009

While the global economy remains stagnant, 269 million mobile handsets were shipped in the second quarter of 2009, according to ABI Research.

The figure bodes well for the second half of 2009, according to Jake Saunders, ABI Research’s vice president of forecasting.

“Shipments should build sequentially in a constructive manner with [the fourth quarter of 2009] potentially returning the industry to better sales form,” said Saunders in a statement.

Nokia exceeded expectations for the quarter, reporting smartphone sales of 16.9 million units for the second quarter, compared to 13.7 million units in the first quarter of 2009. Its market share rose to 38.3 percent, which ABI describes in the statement as a “remarkable swing in fortunes”.

Samsung, which boosted its market share by 1.45 percent to a total of 19.4 percent, and LG, which grew 2.2 percentage points to 11.1 percent, both carried out refreshes of their smartphone lines and performed “particularly well,” according to ABI.

As a result of the refreshes, ABI added that it “will be interesting to see how Nokia’s market share holds up in the [second half of 2009]”.

Sony Ericsson’s market share fell by 0.56 percent, and Motorola and Research In Motion – which, in the first quarter of is fiscal year 2010, shipped its 50 millionth BlackBerry device – reportedly also saw market share contractions.

“It is well documented that smartphones are proving to be one of the main engines of growth, but they are not just benefiting the Tier 1 players,” said Kevin Burden, ABI practice director. “A number of Tier 3 vendors are also making headway in a competitive market, including Apple and HTC but also vendors such as Huawei and ZTE. While a consolidation is widely expected in the industry, it will not be happening in 2009.”

Pressures to consolidate, said ABI, are coming from a tighter integration between hardware, operating system and applications development. The average selling price for smartphones is higher than the overall average, and research and development price tags, explained ABI, “can only go up.”

ABI reported that it is revising its forecast 2009 contraction from negative 8.1 percent, or 1.11 billion, to negative 7.5 percent.

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