Time and time again we’re seeing the mobile phone sector brushing off the harsh economic pressures that are affecting just about every other business in the world. And, following on previous reports that worldwide smartphone sales were seeing a bit of an uptick in sales volume, a new report from Strategy Analytics shows that cellphone sales in the US were up 5.3% in Q2 2008, compared to the same period last year.
With 41.9 million handsets sold in the US in the most recent quarter, Strategy Analytics points to the preponderance of all-you-can-eat unlimited calling plans and a healthy supply of new handsets coming to market as key reasons for growing US cellphone sales.
The US is one of the worst-hit economies, and boasts mobile phone saturation of about 80% – two factors that led analysts to expect a dip in handset sales. But, the market surprised with healthy growth figures.
And, with a recent financial report that included a small profit, Motorola saw it’s US marketshare manage to hold on to the top spot. With 26% of the US market sporting its wares, Motorola is surprisingly still the leading cellphone manufacturer in the US. Elsewhere in the world, Moto is the third-leading mobile phone vendor. Interestingly, Motorola’s overall profit was overshadowed by fiscal losses in its mobile phone business. Motorola posted $346 million in losses for its cellphone division during the second quarter.
The outlook for Motorola is by no means solidified by the company’s still-strong presence in the US, but these latest figures show “early signs of stabilization.”
Meanwhile, LG managed to hold on to the No. 2 spot in the US with 16.7 million mobile phones sold in Q2 2008. The South Korean handset manufacturer clinched an impressive 22% of the US wireless market.
Research In Motion (RIM), makers of the heralded BlackBerry lineup of mobile phones known for their push-email prowess, saw the most impressive market-share gains. RIM saw market-share growth that secured the Canadian company 11% of the US cellphone market in Q2 2008 – representing the first time that the BlackBerry maker has seen double-digit market share numbers in the US.
RIM’s growth underlines expectations that the company is ready to fight back against enterprise-class encroachment by the iPhone 3G.