Cellphone market growth slows to 7 per cent

The cellphone market is slowing

“The number of WCDMA and CDMA2000 mobile handsets sold (currently 39 per cent of the total) is expected to exceed 50 per cent in 2009,” says Jake Saunders, vice president of ABI Research Asia Pacific. “Much of the brunt of the economic downturn will be experienced in the 2G categories. WCDMA handset shipments are projected to grow from 258 million in 2008 to 725 million in 2009. By 2013, more than 67 per cent of all handsets shipped will be 3G/3G+ capable.”

“Another robust segment is smartphones,” said practice director Kevin Burden. “Smartphones captured 14 per cent of the 2008 market and are expected to grow throughout the challenging period of 2009 and comprise 31 per cent of the market by 2013.”

Cellular modems will also be a high growth sector in 2009, driven largely by the USB modems that will account for 80% of the shipment volume. Market volume is expected to increase by more than 55 per cent in the coming year as Asian vendors push forward with low-priced modems. Operators continue to be creative with broadband plans to entice new users, offering options such as a free month with a modem purchase, as well as daily and weekend plans and per Mbyte fees.

“For as long as operators aggressively price and promote mobile broadband plans, cellular modems will continue to be a hot category with considerable potential in SOHO and SMB segments,” said Burden.

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