Nokia’s Market Share Topped 40% in Q4

lotsofphones.jpgWorldwide mobile phone sales to end users surpassed 1.15 billion units in 2007, up 16% from 990.9 million in 2006, according to new research from Gartner. Much of the growth can be credited to consumers buying their first handsets in emerging markets such as China and India, said Gartner’s research director for mobile devices Carolina Milanesi.

However, don’t look for such strong growth again this year, Milanesi warns. Gartner expects only a 10% increase in 2008 “as mature markets become more saturated.”

Nokia grew its share of worldwide handset sales to 37.8% for the full year and, for the first time, broke through the 40% market share barrier in the fourgh quarter of 2007. Motorola managed to hang on to the number-two slot for all of 2007 by a thread, dropping from 21.1% to 14.3% year-over-year. Due to Moto’s 10% plummet in Q4, Samsung easily kept the coveted number-two spot for a second consecutive quarter.

As for how these established market leaders can hold out against strong competition coming from RIM and newcomers Apple and ZTE, Minalesi says they need to meet operator demands for “open platforms, lower pricing and more personalization.” They also need to “meet consumers’ desires for fashionable, easy-to-use phones,” she said.

Details on the research, “Dataquest Insight: Market Share for Mobile Devices, 4Q07 and 2007,” are available on Gartner’s Web site.