Handset makers suffer in the recession

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Handset makers suffer in the recession

Handset manufacturers showed they are not immune to the effects of the recession, recording an 11 per cent year-on-year decline in the last quarter, but signs of recovery are appearing, according to new figures from analyst firm ABI Research.

The firm’s newly updated Mobile Devices Vendor Share database reported that 258 million handsets were shipped during the first quarter of 2009, but despite the year-on-year drop, the analyst said that “green shoots are sprouting”.

"This will not be a V-shaped recovery,” said ABI vice president, Jake Saunders. “2Q-2008 was a fairly strong quarter for handset sales so handset shipments for 2Q-2009 are going to report a 10 per cent decline year-on-year but quarter-on-quarter they should show improvement.”

The analyst firm accordingly adjusted its forecasts for 2009, revising them from -8.4 per cent growth to -8 per cent.

Samsung, LG and Research in Motion appear to have been the biggest winners in Q1 2009, Samsung posting a market share of 17.8 per cent and LG of 8.8 per cent. RIM raised its share to 3 per cent, largely on the back of success with its BlackBerry Bold model, said ABI.

Apple’s market share remains fairly low at 1.5 per cent, despite the success of its iconic iPhone device, suffering from increased competition from other manufacturers producing rival touchscreen handsets, said the firm.

However, ABI predicted that with more models likely to hit the market from Apple in the next quarter, the firm could increase its market share.

Nokia and Sony Ericsson’s market share stand at 36.2 per cent and 5.6 per cent respectively, although the two firms posted the largest contractions of all vendors during the period.

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