Full-Year Mobile Phone Sales May Miss Initial Projections: Gartner

By Beecher Tuttle May 19, 2011

Research firm Gartner lowered its 2011 sales estimates for mobile phones on Thursday due to mounting inventories of unsold devices and softer-than-expected demand from users in emerging nations.

Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, said that mobile phone inventories have grown to 13.3 million units, mostly due to the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March, according to Reuters. The potential supply chain ramifications of the disaster led many retailers to expand their inventory while they could.

“It was panic ... A few days after it, the inventory built up,” Milanesi told the news source. The more than 13 million handsets remaining in inventory equate to approximately seven weeks of sales, she added.

Gartner expects mobile phone sales to drop in the second quarter, but then quickly recover in the second half of the year.

“During Q3 we think everything will go in place, and we will have a much stronger Q4 than we had for many years,” she told Reuters. Milanesi said that the lower-than-expected demand in emerging countries was mostly due to inflation.

The research firm has cut its full-year sales forecast by as much as 15 million handsets, to between 1.79 billion units and 1.795 billion units.

In the first quarter alone, mobile device sales totaled 427.8 million units, an increase of 19 percent compared to Q1 of 2010. The mass adoption of smartphone devices continued, with an 85 percent jump in the last year. Smartphones now account for 23.6 percent of overall sales.

“This share could have been even higher, but manufacturers announced a number of high-profile devices during the first quarter of 2011 that would not ship until the second quarter of 2011,” Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner, noted in a statement.

Gartner speculates that a fair percentage of consumers delayed purchasing a new phone until these models come to market.

Nokia again led the market in sales, but saw its share decrease by 5.5 percentage points year-on-year. The Finnish company's market share of 30.6 percent is the lowest it has been in nearly 15 years.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

Related Articles

Modern Moms Shaping Influence

By: Maurice Nagle    7/19/2018

Everyone knows Mom knows best. The internet is enabling a new era in sharing, and sparking a more enlightened, communal shopping experience. Mommy blo…

Read More

Why People Don't Update Their Computers

By: Special Guest    7/13/2018

When the WannaCry ransomware attacked companies all over the world in 2017, experts soon realized it was meant to be stopped by regular updating. Even…

Read More

More Intelligence About The New Intelligence

By: Rich Tehrani    7/9/2018

TMC recently announced the launch of three new artificial intelligence events under the banner of The New Intelligence. I recently spoke with TMC's Ex…

Read More

Technology, Innovation, and Compliance: How Businesses Approach the Digital Age

By: Special Guest    6/29/2018

Organizations must align internally to achieve effective innovation. Companies should consider creating cross-functional teams or, at a minimum, incre…

Read More

Contribute Your Brain Power to The New Intelligence

By: Paula Bernier    6/28/2018

The three events that are part of The New Intelligence are all about how businesses and service providers, and their customers, can benefit from artif…

Read More