Western European Mobile Phone Market Shows Signs of Recovery
Sep 21, 2009
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The Western European Mobile Phone market recorded another quarter of year-on-year declines in 2Q 2009. According to the IDC European Mobile Phone Tracker, handset vendors shipped 42 million units to Western Europe, down 6% from 2Q 2008. The second quarter results are an improvement on the 14% decrease in 1Q 2009, but the crisis will continue to impact the region.

The switch from traditional mobile phones to converged mobile devices continued to be a major trend in Western Europe. Traditional mobile phones declined 12% during the quarter to 33.2 million units, and converged mobile devices (commonly known as smart phones) experienced a healthy 25% increase during the quarter to 8.8 million units, when compared to the same period last year.

For the full year, IDC believes that the Western European market will decline 10%. Demand for converged mobile devices will continue to grow, but will not be strong enough to reverse the overall market decline as they represent only 21% of total shipments. On the other hand, traditional mobile phones will continue to decline, though at a lower rate, as vendors adjust their portfolios, bringing more features to the low-end devices.

Among the biggest handset vendors, it is important to point out that Korean manufacturers continue to perform better than Scandinavian phone makers. For the first time, Samsung and LG together shipped more devices to Western Europe than Nokia. Nokia continues to be the market leader, with 36.3% market share, but the gap to Samsung, the second biggest vendor with 28.9% market share, continues to diminish. On the other hand, LG continues to challenge Sony Ericsson's market position, and the success of its touch screen handsets allowed LG to get 11.5% market share, the highest ever in Western Europe.

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