January 27, 2006, 9:16 AM — IDC reported on Thursday that high-end devices helped contribute to the shipment of 825 million mobile phones in 2005.
Typically, low- and mid-range phones drive sales, IDC said. But while high-end devices still make up a relatively small proportion of overall shipments, the category reported a big year-over-year leap. More than 55 million converged mobile devices shipped in 2005, a 165 percent increase over 2004. With the increasing availability of third generation networks and their data-access capabilities, phone makers are developing and selling more devices that enable new services, such as music and video downloading, IDC said.
Overall phone shipments grew almost 17 percent over 2004, IDC found.
With some markets in Europe and other regions becoming increasingly saturated, developing markets like Latin America are now also driving mobile phone growth. Shipments in Latin America rose by almost 34 percent in 2005 compared to the previous year, reaching 105 million phones, according to the report.
The ranking of vendors by market share stayed relatively the same in 2005 but fifth place Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB crept closer to fourth place LG Electronics Inc. In the fourth quarter, LG Electronics shipped 100,000 more phones than Sony Ericsson, compared to 1.6 million more phones in the previous quarter.
Nokia Corp. still has the largest market share at 32 percent, selling almost 265 million phones in 2005. Motorola Inc. comes next, with almost 18 percent of the market and almost 146 million phones sold in 2005. The top two are followed by Samsung Electronics Co. and then LG Electronics and Sony Ericsson.
Because the fourth quarter 2005 was the second consecutive quarter with more than 200 million phone shipments, IDC expects to see similar continued growth in 2006.
In December, Nokia said that it expects there will be 3 billion mobile subscribers in 2008, bringing closer an earlier prediction of reaching that number by 2010. In September last year, Wireless Intelligence, a research venture between the GSM Association and Ovum, found that more than 2 billion people in the world had cellular connections.