Gartner: Q1 mobile phone sales exceed 96M units

Worldwide sales of mobile phones reached 96.7 million units in the first quarter of 2001, and the cellular phone market remains on pace to reach as many as 500 million units sold by the end of 2001, according to a new study released Thursday.

Nokia Corp. led the way with its market share for mobile phones sales exceeding 35 percent for the first quarter compared to 27.9 percent for the same time last year, according to the study by Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner Inc. Motorola Inc. was second with a 13.2 percent market share followed by Siemens AG at 6.9 percent, L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co. with 6.8 percent, and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. at 6.3 percent. Other mobile handset makers made up the remaining 31.5 percent of the market.

Despite the first quarter's seemingly healthy returns, Dataquest in a statement with its study said its analysts are warning of a tough mobile phone market this year. The market for new wireless subscribers is decreasing and the replacement market is becoming the largest segment of annual sales, said Bryan Prohm, senior analyst for mobile phones for Dataquest's Worldwide Telecommunications Group, in a statement.

There also is a glut of mobile phones in the supply channel from the fourth quarter of 2000, Dataquest said. As many as 30 million to 35 million units are in distribution channels, according to estimates. This has resulted in numerous leading OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) selling more handsets to end users than actually shipping to distribution channels, Prohm said.

The following is a breakdown of mobile phone sales and market share for the top vendors in the space: .

Nokia -- 34.094 million units or 35.3 percent.

Motorola -- 12.773 million units or 13.2 percent.

Siemens -- 6.664 million units or 6.9 percent.

Ericsson -- 6.542 million units or 6.8 percent.

Samsung -- 6.120 million units or 6.3 percent.

Others -- 30.496 million units or 31.5 percent

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