People love their mobile phones, especially new ones, and the trend is showing little sign of slowing down. Mobile phone shipments worldwide grew by 19% to 810 million in 2005. They are expected to grow by another 15% to 930 million units this year. The 1 billion mark should be passed in 2007. These predictions come from Strategy Analytics, a market research group that released them after the top five phone makers released quarterly results.
The biggest area of growth was, and will continue to be, demand in the southern hemisphere, particularly India and Africa. This growth means more phones sold, but it also means less expensive phones. Which means lower profit margins for phone makers. The manufacturers have been preparing investors for this reality over the last several quarters.
Nokia maintained its lead in the worldwide market share. Their 34.2% stake was up from 33.6% last year. Motorola gained market share to stay in number two, moving up to 18.3% from 16.2%.