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Canalys research shows 3G handsets on the rise
Posted on 3-Dec-2004 07:42 | Tags Filed under: News

Canalys Research supplies us with interesting statistics:

  • Two-thirds of mobile phones shipped in EMEA in Q3 had integrated cameras
  • Nokia leads the camera phone market with 48% share
  • 3G handsets represented 3% of all mobile phone shipments in EMEA in Q3 2004
  • LG is the 3G market leader, with 55% share of EMEA handset shipments

    Of the 62 million mobile phone handsets shipped in EMEA in Q3 2004, Canalys estimates that just under 40 million, almost two-thirds, were camera phones. 3G handsets represented 3% of all shipments in the period, and 4.6% of all camera phones. 2004 has seen a dramatic shift towards camera phones, which have captured 56% of the overall market this year. Canalys research indicates that Nokia was the leading camera phone vendor in the quarter, with 48% share, followed by Sony Ericsson on 12% and Samsung on 9%. These were narrowly ahead of Motorola and Siemens in fourth and fifth place respectively. In the nascent 3G handset market, however, the picture is quite different, and Canalys warns vendors and operators not to get distracted from the core customer requirements as activity around 3G service launches builds.

    "There has been a huge rise in camera phone shipments, but multimedia messaging usage has not exploded in the same way," said Chris Jones, Canalys director and senior analyst. "Consumers are clearly drawn to the idea of having a convenient, ever-present digital camera built into their phone, particularly as the purchase price for many of them has been offset by upgrade subsidies. But that doesn't necessarily reflect a desire to send photos between phones, particularly if there is a cost attached to each message. What the integrated camera has enabled though is a way of personalising the phone, with unique wallpapers and screensavers, without downloading premium image content. Operators need to keep a close eye on usage trends for signs of service revenue being eroded by behavioural changes prompted by technology advances in the

    Canalys also advises vendors not to lose sight of the basic mobile phone requirements of the mass market. The inclusion of bigger, brighter screens, higher resolution still and video imaging capabilities, integrated flashes and the addition of wireless technologies such as Bluetooth and WiFi, all come with a price attached - more drain on the battery.

    Canalys estimates that 1.8 million 3G handsets shipped in EMEA in Q3 2004, up 39% on the preceding quarter, with the '3' network accounting for the vast majority of 3G customers to date. LG led in 3G handset shipments for the second quarter running, with 55% market share. Its success has come from the U8110 and U8120 handsets sold by '3'. Early players in this space, such as NEC and Motorola, have slipped back, but Canalys expects that Motorola will come back strongly with a spate of new 3G handsets shipping in Q4 and aggressive launch plans for 2005. NEC was in second place in Q3, ahead of Nokia in third.

    "The 3G handset market is set to become even more competitive with the arrival of newcomers, namely Sharp and Sanyo, on the Vodafone and Orange networks respectively," Owadally added. Vodafone Live with 3G was recently launched in 12 countries in EMEA, backed by a high-profile marketing campaign. Vodafone has taken a leaf out of Japanese and Korean operators' books in announcing an extensive range of handsets prior to launch. In response, '3' has bolstered its portfolio ahead of Christmas with six new 3G handsets.

    3G is finally coming to life in EMEA, but in the years since operators paid out vast amounts for the licences a new threat has emerged. Today, according to Canalys research, only a few thousand WiFi handsets ship each quarter in EMEA, but with rapidly increasing adoption of IP telephony in the enterprise, interest in dual-band, GSM/WiFi phones is starting to rise. WiFi is integrated in the new Symbian based Nokia 9500 Communicator and the Windows Mobile Smartphone based Motorola MPx and while this may initially be positioned as a transport for data rather than voice on these phones, Canalys believes that voice-over-IP clients will start to proliferate on a range of WiFi-enabled mobile devices over the next two years.

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