IMS: Handset Sales Growth Slowing

cellphones_1.JPGNew figures from IMS Research‘s Online Cellular Database show that worldwide shipments of new cell phones will reach 1.19 billion this year. The number is up only 5.7% over the 1.12 billion handsets shipped in 2007, and “significantly lower than previous years, which enjoyed double-digit growth,” the market researcher said.

The research found several reasons for the slowdown, including a softening of the global economy, consumers having less disposable income and the fact that more consumers are getting talked into longer-term contracts with their carriers that keep them from buying a new phone as early as handset makers would probably like.

“Recent announcements from Texas Instruments and Sony Ericsson have highlighted the fact that demand is not as strong for high-end handsets, especially in mature market. While this is cause for concern, the overall handset market is still expected to grow in 2008, just at a more conservative pace than initially expected,” IMS mobile technologies analyst Bill Morelli said in a statement that was probably meant to be reassuring.

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