Top Five Mobile Phone Vendors 2006

Nokia. Nokia ends the year much in the same way it began the year, as the undisputed worldwide leader in mobile phone shipments. Having reached a new shipment record—more than a million units on average each day during the quarter—Nokia experienced downward pressure on its profits from the same quarter a year ago, the result of shipping massive volumes of entry level devices. At the other end of the product spectrum, Nokia's converged mobile devices continued to outpace all other vendors shipping 11.1 million units, making Nokia the worldwide leader in this space as well.

Motorola. Despite reaching a record level of shipments during the fourth quarter, Motorola missed its 4Q06 profit target, landing at an operating profit of 4.4%. The company acknowledged challenges within its product portfolio mix and its late introduction of 3G devices. To combat this, the company announced plans to tighten control over its expenses and eliminate 3500 jobs worldwide, as well as introducing more 3G devices in various markets. From a device perspective, Motorola continues to tout 'wickedly compelling' products with several devices based on its successful RAZR platform, the stylish MOTOFONE for emerging markets, and the dual-mode CDMA/iDEN ic 502.

Samsung. Samsung edged above the 30 million unit mark twice in 2006, exceeding its sales target for the year. The introduction of its Ultra Edition handsets buoyed shipments in Europe and Asia, and its Blackjack bolstered its converged mobile device lineup during the fourth quarter. Based on the recent success of these devices, Samsung expects to ship 133 million devices in 2007. For the year, Samsung solidified its position as the number three vendor worldwide, but fell further behind second-place Motorola. In addition, fourth place Sony Ericsson mounted a strong campaign during the fourth quarter to cut the difference between the two companies to just six million units.

Sony Ericsson. Sony Ericsson took another step to distance itself from LG Electronics, and moved a step closer to Samsung this quarter, with 4Q06 shipments landing at the midpoint between the two Korean vendors. The company's portfolio has long been considered replete with high-end devices, including several Walkman-branded phones and several converged mobile devices. The success of its entry-level devices, including the J200, J300, and Z300, have brought more depth to Sony Ericsson's portfolio, extending its reach to more customers, particularly in emerging markets. Of the leading vendors, Sony Ericsson earned honors of having the largest year-on-year change, both for the fourth quarter and for the full year.

LG Electronics. LG Electronics marked record shipments during the fourth quarter, but profits did not keep up with volume, a result of price cuts on some of the company's leading models. Profits for 2006 were a staggering 72.9% lower than 2005 profits, and the company plans to take an aggressive approach to anticipate market demand. This includes introducing more key devices to the market, expand its presence in emerging markets, and enhance position and brand in mature markets.

 Top Five Mobile Phone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Year 2006 (Preliminary)

Vendor2006 Shipments2006 Market Share2005 Shipments2005 Market ShareYear-on-year Delta
Sony Ericsson74,800,0007.3%51,100,0006.1%46.4%
LG Electronics64,400,0006.3%54,900,0006.6%17.3%

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