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Electronics Production | February 02, 2010

Top 5 mobile phone companies

The Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia was able to defend its leading position in the Top5 ranking of mobile phone vendors, reports IDC. The market researcher states that the worldwide mobile phone market grew 11.3% in 4Q/09; vendors shipping 325.3 million units (compared to 292.4 million in 4Q/08).


Nokia ended the year with a strong fourth quarter performance. Shipments of 126.9 million in 4Q09 represented the company's highest quarterly total in two years (since 4Q07). The higher handset figures were boosted by improved smartphone sales. Nokia introduced a number of new smartphone models, including the X6, to various markets. When its handset shipment performance is measured on an annual basis, however, Nokia shipped fewer devices in 2009 than in each of the last two years.

Samsung bested its single quarter record in 3Q09 by shipping 68.8 million units in 4Q09. The company capitalized on growing interest in converged mobile devices with its Omnia2 while addressing end-user demand for touchscreen and quick-messaging devices within developed markets. In emerging markets, Samsung's attention to local market tastes and extended distribution channels helped build its presence. Despite its heady growth, the company fell further behind market leader Nokia while distancing itself ahead of LG Electronics.



LG Electronics followed last quarter's record-breaking shipment volume with a new record, reaching 33.9 million units in 4Q09. However, operating margins took a sharp drop from 8.4% in 3Q09 to 1.3% in 4Q09, reflecting average selling price declines, higher marketing expenses, and channel expansion within emerging markets. Still, the company continues to reap success from its popular enV and Cookie products while building its converged mobile device portfolio with the Android-powered GW620 and GW880 and Windows Mobile-powered GW820.

Sony Ericsson posted its sixth consecutive quarterly loss this month. However, the joint venture's gross margins rose to 23% from 15% on a year-over-year basis, thanks to sales of new higher-margin mobiles. The vendor's sales of 14.6 million handsets represented its highest shipment figure of the year thanks to the introduction of new models such as the Satio and Aino. It also announced the Xperia X10 and Vivaz models that the company says will be released later this year.

Motorola ended 2009 with mixed results. The company posted its 12th consecutive quarter of year-over-year shipment declines, but also reported its lowest year-over-year decline since the first half of 2008. Moreover, Motorola recorded an operating loss of $132 million, a reduction of nearly 80% from 4Q08 levels. In its first quarter, Motorola demonstrated how Android has become a key component of its product portfolio, shipping 2 million units worldwide. Its DROID and CLIQ/DEXT devices were shipped to more than 20 countries. It also recently announced the BACKFLIP, MOTOROI, MT710, and the XT800 models, which are slated for release later in the year.

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