GartnerGroup's Dataquest Says CDMA Was Best-Selling Mobile Handset Technology in the U.S. During First Quarter 1999

San Jose, Calif., July 12, 1999—The U.S. mobile handset market has begun the transition to code-division multiple access (CDMA) and is becoming the dominant digital technology in the United States, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner Group, Inc. (NYSE: IT).

CDMA (IS-95) handsets were the No. 1 selling handsets in the United States during the first quarter of 1999 with sales of 3.2 million units, surpassing the more established time-division multiple access (TDMA) technology, which accounted for 2.8 million units in the first quarter. U.S. digital mobile handset sales totaled 7 million units in the first quarter of 1999. TDMA (IS-136) had been the No. 1 handset technology in 1998 with 8.2 million unit sales, followed by CDMA with 6.8 million units and Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) 1900 with 2.9 million units.

Nokia continued to lead the U.S. digital handset market, reaching 32.4 percent market share in the first quarter of 1999 (see Table 1). Nokia was also the No. 1 vendor in the segment in 1998, when its market share was 34.5 percent. QUALCOMM was the No. 3 vendor in 1998, but the company moved into the No. 2 position in the first quarter of this year.

Table 1
U.S. Digital Handset Market Share Estimates by Unit Sales for First Quarter 1999
Company Q1/99 Market Share (%)
Nokia 32.4
Ericsson 12.7
Motorola 11.2
Audiovox 7.4
Total Market 100.0
Source: Dataquest (July 1999)

"With the United States becoming a home market for CDMA, handset vendors that win here will have an advantage as the technology spreads to the Latin America and Asia/Pacific regions," Mr. Hoffman said.

Additional information on this market is available by subscribing to Dataquest's Mobile Communications Terminal Devices North America program [ ]. This program provides detailed forecasts and actionable analysis of developments in the mobile communications terminals sector and the fast-changing distribution channels through which they reach the market. More information on this program is available on Dataquest's Web site at

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