The economy hasn’t completely shaken the recession, but signs are abloom pretty much everywhere that things are indeed getting better. According to a Strategy Analytics report, global handset shipments took a turn for the better in the third quarter of 2009.
The report found that shipments for the quarter were down only 4 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. The firm forecasts the handset industry to return to positive growth in the fourth quarter of 2009.
“Global mobile handset shipments fell to 291 million units during Q3 2009, down 4 percent from 304 million units in Q3 2008. The four-percent shrinkage was a noticeable improvement on the average decline of 11 percent recorded during the previous three quarters between Q4 2008 and Q2 2009. The handset market is edging toward recovery,” stated Bonny Joy, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, in a press release.
The report, which concludes that the recession has ended and the handset market is on the mend, comes just one day after the government reported that gross domestic product (GDP) had expanded at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter.
Strategy Analytics forecasts 300 million handsets to be shipped worldwide in the fourth quarter. That number would represent a slight uptick from the 294 million units shipped in fourth quarter of 2008.
Additionally, the report found that Nokia led the pack, shipping 108 million units for the quarter. Samsung shipped 60.2 million handsets worldwide and captured a record 21 percent market share in the third quarter. Samsung now sits alongside Nokia and Motorola as the only three vendors to have passed the 20 percent threshold during the past decade.
LG Electronics shipped 31.6 million handsets worldwide during the third quarter, for 11 percent market share. The South Korean vendors Samsung and LG captured almost one-third of the entire global handset market between them. According to the report, attractive touch screen portfolios and a growing retail presence have been the keys to the companies’ success.
Apple shipped a healthy 7.4 million iPhones worldwide in the third quarter, for a record 2.5 percent market share. Apple, which launched the iPhone for in China this week, is expanding its distribution networks into all major regions worldwide, which drove volume growth.