Mobile phone shipments declined 8 percent year-over-year in Western Europe, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics. This was the market's slowest growth rate since 2001. Volume totaled 37 million units in the first quarter of 2005, down from 41 million in the same period last year, the research firm reported.
"The color phone upgrade cycle is coming to an end. Western European growth, at minus 8 percent, is significantly below the global average of plus 10 percent in Q1 2005," noted Chris Ambrosio, director of the Strategy Analytics Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service. "Moving into the second half of the year, we expect conditions to remain tough, as operators and their device partners will be challenged to drive a compelling range of feature-rich 3G handsets into growth-driving, prepaid, retail price points below 150 Euros."
"Competition among vendors in Western Europe remains intense," added Neil Mawston, associate director, Wireless Device Strategies, "The marketing powerhouses are dominating upgrade sales in this mature region. Nokia retained the number one slot, with a 35-percent market share, while Samsung reached 14 percent to leap from fourth to second. Motorola continues to offer a well-rounded set of handsets and, as a result, holds third with a 13 percent share in Q1 2005."
Strategy Analytics also found that LG doubled market share year-over-year in the first quarter of 2005 due to healthy 3G sales. Sagem continued to gain steady market share, due to sustained improvements in its product portfolio.
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