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Statistics

Global Handset Sales for 1999 and 2000 (thousands of units)

           2000       2000 Market    1999        1999 Market     Growth
Company    Shipments  Share (%)      Shipments   Share (%)        (%)

Nokia        126,369    30.6          76,335       26.9           65.5
Motorola      60,094    14.6          47,818       16.9           25.7
Ericsson      41,467    10.0          29,785       10.5           39.2
Siemens       26,989     6.5          12,982        4.6          107.9
Panasonic     21,511     5.2          15,581        5.5           38.1
Samsung       20,639     5.0          17,687        6.2           16.7
Others       115,662    28.0          83,393       29.4           38.7
Total Market 412,731   100.0         283,581      100.0           45.5
Source: Gartner Dataquest (February 2001)

Worldwide mobile phone sales totaled 412.7 million units in 2000, a 45.5 percent increase over 1999 results, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner Group Inc. Despite some hiccups'' within the industry and its key supply channels, overall shipments continued to perform well throughout 2000.

However, persistent rumors of a market slowdown that dogged the industry throughout the year started to prove true toward the end of 2000, said Bryan Prohm, senior analyst for Gartner Dataquest's worldwide telecommunications group.

The afterburners that propelled several years of consistently high growth rates now suddenly seem to have been switched off. Indeed, there is some significant stock carry-over to the beginning of 2001, meaning the number of total shipments in 2000 was about six million units lower than previous estimates.

Nokia strengthened its lead as the No. 1 vendor in the market during 2000 with shipments growing 66 percent over 1999 (see Table 1). Some of the company's success was attributed to a strong second half in 2000 when 59 percent of sales occurred.

Gartner Dataquest analysts said 2000 was a transitional year for the mobile phone industry, and they identified a number of issues that affected growth in the industry. Global capacity caught up with demand. Lowered barriers to entry allowed an influx of smaller manufacturers that were able to exploit demand in some of the key Far Eastern markets, such as China.

Wireless application protocol (WAP) failed to impress increasingly savvy mobile users, and thus what had been anointed as the catalyst for the next wave of terminal sales growth turned out to be a little more than a ripple.

Finally, mobile operators began to shift attention away from straightforward subscriber acquisition to a greater focus on lifetime customer loyalty.The long-term prospects for the mobile sector look tough,'' said Peter Richardson, principal analyst for Gartner Dataquest's worldwide telecommunications group.

Few manufacturers are able to generate healthy profit margins, placing the necessary investments in next-generation handsets developments at risk. The smart money may be riding on players that are unfamiliar with the upper echelon vendors.


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