Study finds mobile phone sales exceeded 96 million units

Worldwide mobile phone sales reached 96.7 million units in the first quarter of 2001, and it looks like sales could reach 500 million units by the end of the year.

Worldwide mobile phone sales reached 96.7 million units in the first quarter of 2001, and it looks like sales could reach 500 million units by the end of the year, according to recent research from Dataquest, a division of Gartner.

Despite strong sales in the first quarter, Gartner Dataquest analysts warn that market success will be more difficult this year.

‘The high annual growth rates in global mobile terminal sales realised during the previous decade will prove unsustainable over the long term. The market for new-to-wireless subscribers is decreasing and the replacement market is becoming the largest segment of annual sales,’ said Bryan Prohm, senior analyst covering mobile phones for Gartner Dataquest’s worldwide telecommunications group.

‘The unbridled optimism of the past has been superceded by an atmosphere of increasingly reckless pessimism about the prospect for next-generation mobile telephony terminals and services.’

Nokia continues to gain market share in mobile terminals, having surpassed 35 percent share for the first time during the first quarter of 2001.

Nokia’s market share position one year ago at this time was 27.9 percent. Siemens and Samsung continue to consolidate their respective market share positions, and Gartner Dataquest analysts said that one or both companies to are poised to make a break from their historic designation as ‘tier-two’ manufacturers.

In fact, Siemens surpassed Ericsson in the first quarter of 2001 to move into the No. 3 position.

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