Global mobile phone sales set to slide: report

December 19th, 2008 - 5:53 pm ICT by IANS  

San Francisco, Dec 19 (DPA) Global mobile phone sales are set to slide for the first time since 2001 as a result of the global economic crisis, market research firm IDC Corp has forecast.The report predicted Thursday that total mobile phone sales will fall 1.9 percent in 2009 after several years of double-digit annual growth fuelled largely by demand in now spluttering emerging markets.

According to IDC, the expected growth in 2008 is 7.8 percent.

The company said it did not expect the downturn to continue past 2009, with the market in 2010 showing signs of revival as the economic recovery takes effect.

However sales of smartphones that function as mobile internet and media devices will weather the cell phone storm, IDC said.

Smartphone sales will grow 8.9 percent in 2009 with growth returning to double-digit gains thereafter as consumers appreciate their lower prices and improved functionality.

“Converged mobile devices remain a much sought-after option for many consumers,” said Ramon Llamas, the group’s senior analyst of mobile devices technology and trends.

“Users have come to realise what these devices can do beyond voice telephony, especially when it comes to running applications. In response, handset vendors have been building their products to catch this wave of opportunity.”

IDC said several industry players, including component suppliers, handset makers and operators have said that they’re concerned about handset volumes next year.

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