Mobile phone market hit by global crisis
Manama, April 15, 2010
The mobile handset market across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region grew marginally last year as the effects of the global economic crisis continued to bite, according to a report.
International Data Corporation (IDC), a global market intelligence and advisory firm for the information technology and telecommunications markets, said its MEA Mobile Handsets Tracker shows that shipments last year were up 2.4 per cent over the previous year.
'The MEA mobile handset market managed to rebound in the second half of 2009,' said IDC research analyst Barti Rajan.
'Traditional mobile phones were the main growth driver for the overall MEA market in 2009 as shipments of converged mobile devices (smart phones) slowed.'
However, some of the region's more mature markets, such as the UAE and Turkey, bucked this trend, with converged mobile devices primarily responsible for driving the growth experienced in these markets.
'End-user preferences in the more mature markets of the region have increasingly shifted from simple voice telephony towards a greater usage of data and applications, and both handset vendors and carriers have been eager to meet this demand, despite ongoing economic challenges.'
According to IDC, the converged mobile market will continue to gain momentum as vendors increase the variety of offered devices and as prices continue to fall in 2010 and beyond.
In the overall MEA mobile handsets market, Samsung and LG experienced strong growth rates during the year, with both vendors regularly releasing new models targeting almost every segment of the market.
In the process, they were able to gain considerable market share from their key rivals Sony Ericsson and Motorola.
Apple and Research In Motion, maker of Blackberry mobile handsets, grew substantially throughout the year in the converged mobile devices market, with Apple's sales significantly boosted by the launch of its iPhone 3GS model.-TradeArabia News Service