A recent look at the second quarter by research firm Gartner Group revealed that, worldwide, times are looking good for the mobile phone market. The group reported that sales totaled 229 million units in the second quarter of 2006, a 18.3 percent increase from the same period last year, representing a 23.8 percent increase in the first quarter. Gartner forecasts a unit total of 960 million in 2006, with 238 million units in the third quarter.
But, to use a bad pun, it may be time to “hold the phone.” This growth may not be seen as strongly by U.S. retailers. Carolina Milanesi, principal analyst for mobile terminals research at Gartner, based in Egham, UK said in a company release that such growth is stronger in emerging ares of the world. “Mobile operators in the mature markets of Western Europe and North America struggled to maintain the customer acquisition growth levels seen in previous quarters,” she said. “But mobile operators in emerging markets continued to sign new customers driving handsets sales.”
Leading the vendor pack are Nokia and Motorola, with Nokia holding onto its number one position with a 33.6 percent market share, gaining two percentage points compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, Motorola achieved a market share of 21.9 percent, growing its market share by 4.2 percent year on year. Samsung, while still in the number three position, lost market share compared to the top two players. It’s hard to beat the RAZR.