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Summary:

Mobile phone sales are going to decline sharply over the next five years, to the tune of 1.04 billion devices, according to Informa Telecoms & Media. In its new report, “The Financial Crisis: Analyzing the impact on global mobile markets,” the research firm has revised its […]

Mobile phone sales are going to decline sharply over the next five years, to the tune of 1.04 billion devices, according to Informa Telecoms & Media. In its new report, “The Financial Crisis: Analyzing the impact on global mobile markets,” the research firm has revised its forecast for device sales over the next five years down by 14 percent.

Some 6.39 billion devices are forecast to purchased between now and 2013, Informa said, vs. its previous expectation that 7.43 billion devices would be bought. For 2009, Informa revised its forecast for the number of mobiles phones that will be purchased down to 1.12 billion devices from 1.32 billion. This is a brutal revision for a business that has always been about furious growth and razor-thin margins.

The downshift in overall device sales is one of the reasons why companies are shifting their attention away from low-cost devices to smartphones and an emerging category of devices I like to call superphones. Devices such as Apple’s iPhone sell fewer units but have higher profit margins. A recent surge in demand for RIM’s BlackBerry devices and more recently, HTC’s Android-based smartphones show that the incumbents such as Samsung, Nokia and LG are lagging in this higher end of the market. No wonder they’re redoubling their energies to focus on it, as evidenced by Nokia introducing a brand new line-up of its higher-end (and higher margin) N and E-Series of devices.

  1. Are you saying that sales are going to decline, or just their forecasts? The fact that they adjusted their forecasts by 1.04 billion doesn’t indicate sales are declining by 1.04 billion devices…they may have had unrealistic forecasts or changed the factors that led to the forecast.

    Also, with something as fast-changing as mobile devices, I question how accurate you can really get on a 5-year timeline. One new device or certain new or innovative features could quickly change the game.

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  2. The mobile phone market is declining.That’s not a good news at all.
    Albeit,Big companies like Nokia,HTC,Apple etc. will now be offering some attractive offers or may the reduce the mobile phone price.
    As far as i think !

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  3. growth will go down us and Europe there is huge room of growth in asia …india and china ….350 million more connection next two years estimated here

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  4. Niraj is correct: in 5 years the game could change a lot, and that could change any forecasts (for the better or worse).

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  5. Could a decline in phone sales be attributed to the fact that the phone market is moving it’s emphasis from hardware to software? Already we are seeing companies like Apple releasing new version of their OS that re-invents how a phone is used, without any sort of additional upgrade. The jump from OS 1.0 to 2.0 was so drastic, yet it basically cost users nothing. iPhone is already at it’s third generation, and first generation users can still get by completely fine with their phones.

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