SAN FRANCISCOSecond quarter global handset shipments increased 4.7 percent in the second quarter, marking the first sequential growth since the second quarter of 2008, according to market research firm iSuppli Corp.
Worldwide shipments amounted to 265 million units in the second quarter, up from 253 million in the first quarter, iSuppli (El Segundo, Calif.) said Friday (July 31).
"The moderate increase indicates the worldwide mobile handset market is bottoming out and now is returning to growth," said Tina Teng, senior analyst, wireless communications for iSuppli, in a statement.
Much of the second quarter growth came from Latin America and the Middle East, Teng said. Thanks to some aggressive promotional campaigns, North American shipments increased by 8 percent, Teng said.
Handset shipments had declined sequentially by 16.4 percent in the first quarter after declines of 0.3 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, in the third and fourth quarters of last year, according to iSuppli.
Shipments are expected to rise by 6 percent to 280.9 million in the third quarter and by 8.3 percent to 304.2 million in the fourth quarter, according to the firm's latest forecast. Despite the quarter-to-quarter increases, annual shipments are still expected to contract by 9.9 percent in 2009, with the total for the year amounting to 1.1 billion units, down from 1.23 billion in 2008, the firm said.
Competing research firms IDC and Strategy Analytics also recently released data showing that the worst of the cycle may be over for handset makers. IDC expects a 13 percent decline in handset sales for the full year, while Strategy Analytics predicts a decline of 5 percent.
The world's top five handset suppliers dramatically outperformed the smaller players in the second quarter, iSuppli said. Shipments from the top five handset vendors rose 12.1 percent in the period, while the rest of the companies experienced an 18.1 percent decline in sales, iSuppli said.