Handset manufacturers showed that they are not immune to the effects of the recession, recording an 11 per cent year-on-year decline in the last quarter. But signs of recovery are appearing, according to new figures from ABI Research.
The analyst firm's newly updated Mobile Devices Vendor Share database reported that 258 million handsets were shipped during the first quarter of 2009 but that, despite the year-on-year drop, the "green shoots are sprouting".
"This will not be a V-shaped recovery," said ABI vice president Jake Saunders. "The second quarter of 2008 was fairly strong for handset sales, so shipments for the second quarter of 2009 are going to report a -10 per cent decline year-on-year but quarter-on-quarter they should show improvement."
The analyst firm accordingly adjusted its forecasts for 2009, revising them from -8.4 per cent growth to -8 per cent.
Samsung, LG and Research in Motion appear to have been the biggest winners in the first quarter of 2009. Samsung reached a market share of 17.8 per cent, followed by LG with 8.8 per cent. RIM raised its share to three per cent, largely on the back of success with its BlackBerry Bold model.
Apple's market share remains fairly low at 1.5 per cent, despite the success of its iPhone device, suffering from increased competition from other manufacturers producing rival touchscreen handsets, said ABI.
However, ABI predicted that with more models likely to hit the market from Apple in the next quarter, the firm could increase its market share.
Nokia and Sony Ericsson's market shares stand at 36.2 per cent and 5.6 per cent respectively, although the two firms posted the largest contractions of all vendors during the period.
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