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Nokia. Nokia ended the year much as it began 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.
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, eliminate 3500 jobs worldwide, and introduce 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.
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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 expected to ship 133 million devices in 2007. For the year, Samsung solidified its position as the third vendor worldwide but fell further behind second-place Motorola. In addition, fourth place Sony Ericsson mounted a vigorous 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 closer to Samsung this quarter, with 4Q06 shipments landing 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 converged mobile devices. The success of its entry-level devices, including the J200, J300, and Z300, has 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 the honors of having the most significant year-on-year change, both for the fourth quarter and the entire year.
LG Electronics. LG Electronics marked record shipments during the fourth quarter, but profits did not keep up with volume due to price cuts on some of the company’s leading models. Earnings 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)
|Vendor||2006 Shipments||2006 Market Share||2005 Shipments||2005 Market Share||Year-on-year Delta|
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