Worldwide mobile phone sales record 21% growth in 2005: Gartner

BANGALORE: Worldwide mobile phone sales totalled 816.6 million units in 2005, a 21 per cent increase from 2004, as the leading six vendors increased their share of the market at the detriment of smaller vendors, according to Gartner, Inc.

The top six vendors accounted for 79.4 per cent of worldwide mobile phone sales in 2005. These leaders experienced a steady increase in market share throughout the year, as their market share increased from 78 per cent in the first quarter to 84 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2005, states Gartner.

"As competition continues to drive price pressure in the low-end, and a design and technology "arms race " in the high-end, the survival of the fittest depends more and more on economies of scales, or very carefully cut out niche markets," says Gartner's UK-based principal analyst for mobile terminals research Carolina Milanesi.

In the fourth quarter of 2005, according to Gartner, the mobile phone market remained strong with sales exceeding 235 million units. This is yet again the biggest quarter on record since Gartner started tracking the market on a quarterly basis in 2001.

"The industry experienced record sales due to continued strong growth in emerging markets, where falling prices for cellular connectivity (phones and subscriptions) resulted in higher-than-expected sales. In more mature markets, such as Western Europe and North America, replacement sales were driven by users that gave into the charm of highly fashionable devices," Milanesi adds.

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