Price Wars Loom As Mobile Phone Market Edges Toward Recovery

The mobile phone market is showing signs of recovery, with two research firms predicting that growth will return in the fourth quarter. Strategy Analytics put the total number of handsets shipped worldwide in the third quarter at 291 million, down 4 percent from a year earlier, while IDC put the figure at 287.1 million, or a 6 percent decline from last year. But the rate of decline is apparently slowing, with IDC noting that global handset shipments were up 5.6 percent from the second quarter.

As with the second quarter, Motorola (NYSE: MOT) and Sony (NYSE: SNE) Ericsson (NSDQ: ERIC) were the big losers. According to IDC, Sony Ericsson saw shipments tumble 45.2 percent, while Motorola