Gartner Says Worldwide Mobile Phone Sales Increased 21 Percent in 2003
STAMFORD, Conn., March 10, 2004 — Strong replacement demand in mature markets coupled
with higher than expected growth in emerging markets combined to deliver a record
number of units sold in the mobile phone industry in 2003. Worldwide mobile phone
sales totaled 520 million units, a 20.5 percent increase from 2002 sales, according
to Gartner, Inc.
"2003 sales surpassed industry expectations with the fourth quarter presenting a
challenge to many vendors as they struggled to meet supply," said Ben Wood, principal
analyst at Gartner. "This unprecedented demand is set to continue in 2004 with the
first quarter already looking strong. We?ve increased our market estimate for 2004
to 580 million units."
Nokia continued to lead the worldwide mobile phone industry, and it became the market
leader in North America. However, on a worldwide basis, it suffered a decline in
market share (see Table 1). "Sustained competition and aggressive pricing from existing
players, loss of share in Western Europe and an increasing number of small players,
particularly in Asia/Pacific, presented challenges to Nokia," Wood said.
Table 1 Worldwide Manufacturer Sales to End Users of Mobile Terminal Devices in
(Thousands of Units)
Note: Table includes integrated digital enhanced network (iDEN) shipments, and wireless
local loop (WLL). It excludes original design manufacturer (ODM) to original equipment
manufacturer (OEM) shipments.
||2003 Market Share (%)
||2002 Market Share (%)
Source: Gartner (March 2004)
Motorola's market share declined in the fourth quarter of 2003. However, rising
sales this quarter of new products could result in a resurgence in Motorola's market
share in 2004. Despite success late in the year, Motorola lost the leadership position
in the home market in North America, even with strong sales of integrated digital
enhanced network (iDEN) products.
"Motorola paid a heavy price for the problems it had in delivering some products
on time throughout 2003, particularly in CDMA where both LG and Nokia made gains
at its expense. Motorola has started off this year well, and its outlook for 2004
is increasingly positive," Wood said.
Samsung consistently held a global market share of approximately 10 percent during
2003. Its strategy of focusing on higher tier products rather than the intensely
competitive, lower-tier, low-margin segment has been reflected in its high average
selling prices and double-digit margins.
"The majority of the sales for Siemens were in low tier, low cost, low margin products,
but it recorded very strong growth in the second half of 2003," said Carolina Milanesi,
analyst for Gartner. "Siemens? products were ideally suited to emerging Eastern
European markets, especially Russia. Its sales further strengthened as it took full
advantage when some competitors were unable to meet market demand."
LG was the No. 5 vendor in worldwide mobile phone sales in the fourth quarter of
2003, and its success in the Indian market was instrumental in its strong growth.
The company also had robust sales in the fourth quarter of 2003, some of which was
attributed to strength in North America.
"The Asia/Pacific market remained strong in the fourth quarter, fully recovering
from the impact of SARS earlier in the year," said Ann Liang, analyst for Gartner.
"The vendor competition in China remained as fierce as ever as local vendors fought
for market share while the market continued to surge in India."
Additional information is available in the Gartner Dataquest Alert "Mobile Terminal
Market Shares: Worldwide, 4Q 2003-Year End." The Alert provides market share results
for the top-tier vendors, as well as analysis on how these vendors performed in
the fourth quarter of 2003, as well as year-end results.
Further insight into the wireless industry will be presented at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo,
March 28-April 1 at the San Diego Convention Center. Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is
the industry?s largest event providing senior IT and business strategists with in-depth
analysis on the future of IT. It is also the largest gathering of CIOs and CTOs
in the world. Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2004 offers attendees more than 180 sessions
in 30 specialized content tracks, one-on-one meetings with Gartner analysts and
an exhibition floor with more than 100 of the latest products and services in technology.
For more details or to register for Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2004, visit www.gartner.com/us/symposiumwest
or call 1-800-778-1997. Members of the media can register for the conference by
contacting Maria Di Masi at 212-699-2734 or e-mailing GartnerEvents@middleberg.com.
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