Mobile handset sales have been on the decline throughout most of 2009, but according to research firms, the worst is behind us and Q4 is poised for a return of growth across all mobile handset segments.
Neil Mawston, an analyst with Strategy Analytics, is predicting the return to growth after a year of declining sales, but warns that major price-cutting will be a leading factor to the recovery- a strategy that should have been implemented long ago in my opinion.
Similarly, ABI Research also predicts an improvement in fourth quarter sales with Symbian-OS-based phones poised to lead the pack. Though smartphones and new-age mobile OSs such as the iPhone and Android OS seem to steal much of the spotlight, it’s Symbian-based devices that will remain number one throughout the return to growth in Q4.
ABI noted that Symbian’s proliferation is attributed to Nokia retaining 37.3 percent of the market in Q3, though it’s losing market share to competitors rather quickly. Samsung, for instance, gained market share in Q3 to corner 20.7 percent of the market.
What’s unclear is whether the influx of Android-based devices to enter the market before years-end will influence the overall sales of handsets for 2009. “The dark horse in all this is Android,” said Kevin Burden, ABI practice director, noting that Motorola’s Droid smartphone is just one of many Android phones waiting in the wings to be marketed before the end of the year.