SAN JOSE, Calif. – Vendors are expected to ship as many as 1.34 billion cellphone handsets this year with sales projected to hit 1.7 billion units a year in 2015. The results are based in part on a strong third quarter with sales of 346.2 million handsets and annual growth to date of 20 percent, according to recent reports from ABI Research.
The 2010 growth “is a remarkable feat, irrespective of the rebound effect following the deferred handset purchases during the economic recession,” said Jake Saunders, vice president for forecasting at ABI Research, speaking in a press release.
“The Asia-Pacific region currently makes the largest contribution to global handset sales,” said ABI analyst Celia Bo in a separate press release. Asia's “handset sales are projected to increase 9 percent this year compared to 2009, and will account for 38 percent of total shipments," she said.
Among the fastest growing handset markets, India is expected to rise 24 percent from 84.3 million handsets in 2009 to 104 million in 2010. Sales in Indonesia are expected to expand from 33 million in 2009 to more than 37 million by the end of 2010.
Nokia has been strong with above average market share in these markets thanks in part to a focus on low cost handsets, ABI said. However Samsung, LG and RIM have been gaining share among higher-end handsets and smartphones.
Meanwhile, “a number of local handset vendors such as Micromax and Spice Mobile in India, and Nexian and SPC Mobile in Indonesia, are intent on catering to low-end and mid-tier end-users,” said Kevin Burden, director of ABI's handset service. “Their game-plan is to push the envelope on providing increasingly feature-rich handsets at aggressive price-points," he added.
Globally, Nokia led in cellphone market share in the latest quarter at 31.9 percent followed by Samsung which grew to 20.6 percent, according to ABI. LG takes a distant third place at 8.2 percent, followed by Apple and RIM which both expanded sales to 4.1 and four percent respectively. Sony-Ericsson and Motorola trail at three and 2.6 percent.
Nokia's market share could come under pressure from a shortage of cellphone chips and displays, Burden said. Conversely, Samsung and LG could see gains during the current shortages given their in-house chip and display divisions.