Two research firms released their first-quarter tallies on global handset shipments, both indicating a big slowdown due to the economy.
According to Strategy Analytics, global mobile handset shipments fell 13 percent year-over-year in the first quarter – the fastest fall rate in the industry’s history. Total global handset shipments tallied 245 million units.
IDC reported slightly lower global handset shipments, tallying 244.8 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2009, or 15.8 percent lower than the 290.8 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2008.
The global economic downturn and cautious de-stocking by retailers caused the slowdown, according to Strategy Analytics. “Our records indicate that Q1 2009 represented the fastest ever decline in annual shipment growth since the modern cell phone industry began in 1983,” said analyst Alex Spektor in a press release.
Shipment growth contracted for all the top five major vendors, although Apple more than doubled its volumes year-over-year with demand for the iPhone 3G. Samsung was a top performer among the big five vendors during the quarter, hitting a 19 percent global market share.
IDC says it expects to see further year-over-year declines worldwide even as some regions show signs of improvement. Smartphones continued to grow year-on-year, particularly in Western Europe, North America and Asia/Pacific, excluding Japan, analysts said.