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Semiconductor Today Magazine


9 June 2006


IDC reports new high for converged mobile device shipments

Market research analysts, IDC have reported that the worldwide converged mobile device or smartphone market recorded a new record in quarterly shipments. According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, worldwide shipments totalled 18.9m units in Q1/2006, an increase of 7.5% over Q4/2005 and 67.8% over Q1/2005.

"In most mature markets, the first quarter of the new year is usually characterized by a sequential decrease in shipments. However, as a market with more growth on the way, the converged mobile device market was able to post sequential growth as well as a sizable year-over-year gain," said Ramon Llamas, research analyst with IDC's Mobile Markets team. "The worldwide market has broadened in terms of the number of vendors who have entered into this space, and deepened as far as the kinds of devices coming out for consumers, enterprise users, and fans of multimedia. The lure of new products combined with heightened competition among the vendors, should continue to drive the smartphone market to new heights."

"Continuous upgrades to mobile operating systems have given device manufacturers more capable platforms upon which to create devices," says Ryan Reith, research analyst with IDC's Mobile Phone Tracker. "For example, Nokia set the bar by launching two new lines of devices for the converged market, the E-Series and the N-Series, aimed at two different end-user markets. These lines have plenty of room to grow and offer devices in the high, mid, and lower levels of the converged mobile device space, which should add pressure on other device manufacturers to follow suit in 2006."

In terms of worldwide shipments and market share, the top 5 vendors of converged mobile devices in Q1/2006 are Nokia, Panasonic, NEC, Research In Motion, and Sharp, respectively.

Nokia: Q1/2006 shipments reached 8.16m, giving the company a 43.2% worldwide market share. Year-on-year growth for Q1/2006 was 49.9%.

Panasonic: Q1/2006 shipments reached 1.89m, giving the company a 10% worldwide market share. Year-on-year growth for Q1/2006 was 65.1%.

NEC: Q1/2006 shipments reached 1.79m, giving the company a 9.5% worldwide market share. Year-on-year growth for Q1/2006 was 57%.

Research In Motion: Q1/2006 shipments reached 1.45m, giving the company a 7.7% worldwide market share. Year-on-year growth for Q1/2006 was 85.7%.

Sharp: Q1/2006 shipments reached 1.07m, giving the company a 5.7% worldwide market share. Figures for year-on-year growth are not available as the company only joined the converged mobile device market in late 2005. All of its devices were shipped to Japan.

Note: Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.

. . . and Strategy Analytics reports figures for global 3G subscribers

According to a Strategy Analytics report, Global 3G Subscribers Hit 100 Million Mark in June, more than 100m people worldwide now use WCDMA and CDMA2000 1x EV-DO 3G technology on their mobile phones.

Sara Harris, senior industry analyst and author of the report, said: “Reaching the 100 million subscriber mark is a significant milestone for 3G, proving that it is finally beginning to come into its own. Much of this success is due to the strong pushes by influential carriers like NTT DoCoMo, Hutchison 3G and SK Telecom, and more recently Vodafone and Verizon Wireless, who have worked hard to drive 3G uptake among their subscribers."

David Kerr, VP of the Global Wireless Practice, added: "Western Europe has overtaken Japan as 3G leader over the first half of 2006. However, the US market is set to grow rapidly in 2007, when Cingular rolls-out its HSDPA coverage in an attempt to catch up to the first mover advantages enjoyed by Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel, companies which have benefited from Qualcomm leadership in EV-DO."

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