Gartner: Mobile phone sales up 46 per cent

Leading the pack of mobile phone vendors was Nokia, with a market share of 30.6 per cent. The next contender, Motorola, had less than half the sales, at 14.6 per cent. Coming in third was Ericsson with 10 per cent, followed by Siemens with 6.5 per cent; Matsushita Electric Industrial, with its Panasonic brand, at 5.2 per cent; and Samsung, at 5 per cent. Other vendors combined took the remaining 28 per cent of market share.

Gartner called 2000 a "transitional year" for the mobile phone industry, with several factors pointing to harder times ahead. Global capacity has caught up with demand, leading to a "significant stock carry-over" into the new year. In addition, the lowering of market entry barriers has allowed smaller manufacturers to make inroads in key Asian markets, such as China.

Further, the much-hoped-for boost in handset sales due to the introduction of models equipped for WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) did not come to fruition, Gartner said, as customers were largely unimpressed with the service.

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