Nokia Motorola pulling away

The mobile phone business continued to record impressive increases in unit shipments in the second quarter, with Motorola and Nokia continuing to dominate the market – and they’re pulling away from the pack.

The two best surveys of the market, from IDC and Strategy Analytics, appeared almost at the same time and came up with almost the same results – total shipments of 235m and year-on-year growth of 26%, said Strategy Analytics: IDC has 238m units and a 22.5% increase.

IDC said the industry might be close to shipping 1bn units for the full year, though “the market’s surging growth rate has been balanced by slowing demand in select mature markets”. Strategy Analytics is a bit more bullish about the 1bn target – “so far no phone vendors are reporting noticeable inventory build-ups or slackening demand across a broad number of markets”.

Strategy Analytics does predict that Motorola could overtake Nokia as the world’s largest mobile phone company by 2007 “if the two firms continue growing at their present pace”.
For Samsung, the analysts think that it is continuing to miss out on the boom in low-spec handsets in developing markets.

And LG’s performance owes a lot to the Chocolate phone; Strategy Analytics reckons LG “faces a break-even-to-negative operating-margin reality over the next four to six quarters” as it tries to build up its export markets.