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Current state of mobile and wireless industry Q2 2003
Posted on 25-Jul-2003 19:33 | Filed under: News

Current state of mobile and wireless industry Q2 2003
  • EMEA mobile device shipments in Q2 2003 up 239% on Q2 2002
  • Handhelds/wireless handhelds up 51% on last year, highest rise for over two years
  • Nokia retains lead in smart/feature phone segment, and in mobile devices overall
  • Palm leads data-centric handheld/wireless handheld segment with growth of 45% on last year
  • Medion bursts into handheld top three thanks to low price navigation bundle in Germany

    EMEA Q2 2003 - highlights from the Canalys research
    Canalys' latest research shows that smart phones, such as the Nokia 3650 and Sony Ericsson P800, are continuing to provide much of the growth in the EMEA mobile device market, but the handheld segment has also bounced back after two years of disappointing shipments, with several vendors, notably Palm, Medion and Sony, posting impressive figures.

    Nokia continues to dominate the voice-centric part of the market (smart phones and feature phones), with 78% share of that segment, followed by Sony Ericsson on 15%, and Orange, with the Microsoft OS powered SPV in third on 5%. The sustained shipments of the two smart phone leaders make this the first quarter where more than 1 million devices running the Symbian OS were shipped in EMEA.

    In the data-centric (handheld and wireless handheld) segment, Palm retained its lead with a 34% share, similar to its position of a year ago, but with shipments up 45%. Second-placed HP, with 25% share, lost ground, having only grown its shipments by 2% year-on-year.

    "We expect HP will have a better Q3," said Canalys director and senior analyst Chris Jones. "It has been focused on clearing the channel to make way for a raft of new models, the effect of which will kick in over the coming months. Palm has done well though. It has a better range of products now than at any time in its history and is hitting customers on many different levels."

    "Shipments of the high-end phones are growing in line with our forecasts," Jones added, "and while the camera is still the main attraction for many, users will increasingly take advantage of the other data features. The Sony Ericsson P800 is very clearly a converged voice and data device, and with operator subsidies lowering the purchase price, is proving very appealing to those who like the idea of having just one device for mobile communications and organiser-type applications. The challenge for the whole mobile market is to extend consumer usage of these devices beyond the traditional phone and handhelds applications, and this quarter, in Medion, we have seen a good example of one possible direction for the handheld segment."

    Medion, was the highest placed new market entrant in Q2, with a 499 bundle based around its Pocket PC handheld, a GPS module and Tele Atlas navigation software, sold through the Aldi retail chain in Germany.

    "A number of vendors have been involved in GPS navigation bundles, but the Medion deal is by far the most successful we have seen," said senior analyst Andy Buss. "It was cleverly timed around the holiday season, when many would be getting into their cars and driving across the border, it was competitively priced, and prominently promoted in the typical Aldi fashion." Buss believes there is an important lesson here for other handheld vendors. "This is an application where handhelds, with their larger displays, have an advantage over smart phones, and there is clearly potential if vendors get the price and the promotion right. The handheld is a versatile device, capable of many things, but sometimes focusing on just one can pay dividends and extend sales into new markets."

    Another vendor that has succeeded in pushing the handheld beyond its original functions is Sony, very much focused on consumer-oriented multimedia, which posted its second best quarter ever in EMEA, growing 64% on the same period one year ago. Despite this, the proportion of devices running Palm OS remains behind that for Symbian and Windows CE.

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