IDC expects drop in mobile-phone shipments in '09

Blame the economy for what could be the largest decline in eight years.

Mobile phone shipments will decline by more than 2% in 2009 when compared with this year, the largest decline since 2001, according to a forecast from IDC released Thursday.

IDC blamed the global economic crisis for the falloff, noting that handset makers, network operators and component suppliers have all discussed their concerns about prospects for 2009.

Ryan Reith, an analyst at IDC, noted that phone maker Nokia Corp. has already predicted a decline. But he said that "real concerns set in" when mobile phone chip set vendors such as Qualcomm Inc., Texas Instruments Inc. and Mediatek Corp. announced reductions in manufacturing for the coming year.

Those reductions will affect the entire mobile phone market, although IDC predicts that shipments in the smartphone segment will grow nearly 9% next year worldwide. Lower prices for smartphones will help.

IDC did not release actual numbers for annual shipments, but noted that growth in the total mobile phone market globally was up 7% this year compared to 2007. After a decline of 2.2% in 2009, IDC expects a rebound and believes the total market globally will grow by 7.7% in 2010.

For the U.S. alone, IDC said there has already been a slight decline in mobile phone shipments in 2008, which will result in a 0.3% decline by the end of the year. In 2009, the U.S. decline will be four times greater than the global falloff, dropping 8.7%. In 2010, the mobile phone shipments in the U.S. will decline again, and is projected to be off by 0.7%. But smartphone shipments will increase in 2009 in the U.S. by 3%, IDC said.

In November, Gartner predicted a decline in sales of mobile phones globally in 2009 of between 1% and 4%. Gartner said about 308 million phones shipped in the third quarter of 2008.

IDC also said consumers will have less disposable income and may choose to hold onto their current devices rather than replace them or upgrade them. As long as a device functions properly, consumers might put off a replacement when the service contract expires, IDC said in a statement.

The good news is that IDC doesn't expect the mobile phone shipment downturn to stretch beyond 2009 although growth in 2010 and beyond will be slower than the double-digit growth experienced in recent years, the analyst firm said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobile phonesmarket researchIDC

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?