Summary:

Analysts are revising their forecasts downward for 2009 global handset sales, citing lengthening phone replacement cycles despite the prevai…

Analysts are revising their forecasts downward for 2009 global handset sales, citing lengthening phone replacement cycles despite the prevailing thought that cell phones are the last thing consumers will give up in a tough economy, Reuters reports. The concerns were likely set off by Nokia (NYSE: NOK), which said last month that it would be hurt by weakening consumer confidence this year and the company may lose market share. Since then, a JPMorgan analyst cut his expectations for 2009 handset growth to 6.1 percent from 8.1 percent, with his worries concentrated on Europe and China, where more modest growth was expected despite it being one of the fastest growing mobile markets. UBS analyst Maynard Um also revised his forecast to 3 percent from 6 percent, citing weakness in Europe and North America. UBS noted: “As we enter Q4, we believe it will become clearer that many handset vendors are struggling rather than problems being specific to Nokia.”

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