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Number of mobile handsets reached 251 million last quarter

Worldwide mobile phone sales totaled 251 million units in the third quarter of 2006, a 21.5% increase from the same...


November 27, 2006  


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Worldwide mobile phone sales totaled 251 million units in the third quarter of 2006, a 21.5% increase from the same period last year, according to Gartner Inc.

Third quarter sales in Asia/Pacific, especially India and China, rose dramatically and drove overall growth upwards. Asia/Pacific was the fastest growing region this quarter.

As a result of the strong quarter, Gartner raised its mobile phone sales forecast to reach 986 million units in 2006, with 281 million units in the fourth quarter of 2006.

“Although sales of replacement handsets during the third quarter in the more mature markets were not as buoyant as we have been accustomed to they were offset by continuing momentum in sales to first-time buyers in emerging markets,” said Carolina Milanesi, principal analyst for mobile terminals research at Gartner.

“We have also started to see increasing sales of replacement models in some emerging market, which helped push up total sales in the third quarter.

“In a market where players compete on price, technology and strategic partnerships, it is impossible to believe that life is not getting much tougher for the smaller vendors. Nokia, Motorola and Samsung accounted for 68% of worldwide mobile sales in the third quarter of 2006.”