Monday, July 30, 2012

Global Handset Shipments Decrease for the Second Consecutive Quarter

handset.jpgAs important and as robust as mobile subscriber growth has been over the last decade, it is not invulnerable to economic stress. In fact, on a global basis, mobile handset shipments have declined for two consecutive quarters. 

An economist, tracking any nation's economic performance, would say that set of data marks the beginning of a recession. 

“Handset shipments have not seen a sequential year over year decline since the global economic crisis of 2008-2009," says ABI Research senior analyst Michael Morgan.

Of course, handset purchases often are affected by consumers waiting for hot new models to be released, while some might also note that the second quarter is a seasonally slower quarter.

Apple, for example, experienced a 26 percent quarter over quarter decline in shipments in the second quarter, as consumers withheld purchasing an iPhone in anticipation of the new model to be released in the late third quarter. 

Research in Motion and Nokia experienced 14 percent and 30 percent quarter over quater declines respectively. To some extent, those dips might partially be explained by customers waiting for the next major product families from each of the suppliers, and in part by a shift of demand away from both suppliers. 

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