Nokia tightens global mobile market grip

By Brett Young, InfoWorld |  Business

FINNISH MOBILE PHONE maker Nokia tightened its grip on the global handset market in the third quarter of 2000, data showed on Friday, with Germany's Siemens also gaining at the expense of Motorola and Ericsson.

Figures from research group Gartner Dataquest showed Nokia with a market share of 30.6 percent, up over three percentage points from the second quarter and more than double that of number two Motorola, which had a 13.3 percent share.

Motorola's third-quarter share represented a fall of 2.3 percentage points from the second quarter. World number three Ericsson also stumbled, shedding 0.6 percentage points to 9.7 percent.

In addition to Nokia, Germany's Siemens also made big strides, moving up to number four worldwide after its third-quarter market share surged 3.1 percentage points to 8.6 percent, overtaking France's Alcatel and Japan's Panasonic.

The market share of Alcatel and Panasonic stayed roughly steady.

The data supports comments by Nokia chief executive Jorma Ollila after third-quarter results in October when he said the company had won a few percentage points of market share in the quarter.

Ollila told an annual analysts' meeting in London in December that Nokia aimed to grow faster than the mobile handset market over the next three years and take further market share from its competitors.

He said the company aimed to be a market leader in all mobile phone product categories.

Shares in all companies were largely unmoved by the figures. Motorola ended off almost six percent overnight in New York.

ANALYSTS SAY FIGURES IN LINE, WAIT FOR Q4

Analysts said the new figures reinforced trends seen earlier in the mobile market, with Nokia and an aggressive Siemens taking market share while Motorola and Ericsson -- both with troubled mobile units -- faltered.

"The second-quarter numbers from Dataquest for Nokia (showing a slight fall in market share) were a bit at odds with what the industry thought, so these data seem to fit better with what we know about the companies," said Susan Anthony, analyst at Credit Lyonnais in London.

"But they are also history, so we'll be looking to the fourth quarter to see how it developed given the statements we had from companies like Motorola and Ericsson," she said.

Ericsson has said it expected fourth-quarter group operating profit to be around one percent of sales due to hefty losses at its mobile phones unit, with sales seen growing around 10 percent. It is due to report fourth quarter and 2000 results on February 26.

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