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Worldwide Mobile Device Sales on Pace for Flat Growth in 2009
Dec 16, 2009
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Stronger than expected sales in Western Europe and an acceleration in the grey market in 3Q will drive worldwide mobile device sales to end users to 1.214 billion units, a 0.67% decline from 2008, according to the latest outlook by Gartner, Inc. In September, Gartner had forecast sales to decline 3.7% in 2009. Gartner now predicts sales in 2010 will show a 9% increase from 2009.

In 2009, said Gartner, overall market economic conditions impacted disposable income and extended replacement cycles in mature markets from 12 to 18 months. Gartner expects replacement cycles globally to return to normal within two years, with the introduction of more aggressively priced smartphones and shorter contracts. Gartner also expects second-hand sales in emerging markets and SIM-only sales globally to stabilise in 2010 and to start decreasing from 2011 as consumers feel less macro-economic pressure.

Smartphone volumes will represent 14% of total mobile devices sales in 2009, it said, growing by 23.6% from 2008 and to 38% by 2013. However, this positive outlook could be negatively impacted by mobile operators' decision to associate all smartphones with high flat-rate data plans, which could increase the total cost of ownership beyond mass-market consumer acceptance. Despite this, Gartner expects global ASPs for enhanced phones and smartphones to decline by 3 per cent in 2010.

The strong performance of markets such as Western Europe and Asia Pacific was balanced by weaker than expected sales in Latin America and the Middle East and Africa, said Gartner.

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