With the holiday weekend over, retailers saw strong numbers; and some analysts predict could turn the slower than normal sales for this year around. However, even if it is a green Christmas with sales in the black for many consumer electronics, mobile isn’t having a good year.
The global recession is likely just one part of the problem, but the mobile phone sector hasn’t had the strongest year in 2009. Another part of the equation is that the Western European and North American markets are saturated and could see subscriber growth of less than 10 percent year-to-year in 2009, according to a new study from DisplaySearch.
The industry report titled, “Quarterly Mobile Phone Shipment and Forecast Report,” further suggests that the emerging markets in India and China will continue to drive growth in the industry. “The global economy is slowly recovering, fueling growth in mobile phone shipments in Q2’09,” says Calvin Hsieh, DisplaySearch Research Director. “Despite this, total 2009 mobile phone demand in North America and Western Europe is still less than 2008, an impact of the recession. Looking ahead, we expect it will be a better year in 2010, with worldwide mobile phone growth of 15 percent and emerging markets playing an increasingly vital role in shipments.”
DisplayResearch further reported that China remains a critical region, both in that it is important as a manufacturing center and for demand. Given that China has seen the arrival of some big handsets this year, including the new Dell mini smartphone, as well as an official release of the Apple iPhone, it isn’t hard to see how the sleeping dragon is once again awakening.
Opera Mini Usage Up
Those emerging markets also seem to have a lot of Opera Mini uses, as the browser maker reports an 11 percent worldwide jump, while worldwide data transfers were up 16 percent. According to Opera Software, about 40 million people across the globe used the popular mobile handset browser in October.
Other key trends for October:
- The top 10 countries for Opera Mini usage were Russia, Indonesia, India, China, Ukraine, South Africa, United States, United Kingdom, Poland and Vietnam
- The top 10 countries using Opera Mini in Latin America included Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay and Ecuador. And Chile, Ecuador and Argentina lead the top 10 countries in growth of unique users.
- Social networking is taking off in Latin America, and some of the top mobile sites included Google, Live and Facebook. Smaller social-networking sites have a presence as well, such as hi5, which shows up on the top-10 lists of Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador.
Apple’s iPhone arrives to a rousing welcome in tech-savvy South Korea
When the Apple iPhone arrived in China recently, it made a smaller splash than many might have predicted. Figure that there were a few hurdles to overcome, including a significantly higher price than in other markets and the fact that the market had been saturated with knockoffs.
But when the iPhone arrived in South Korea this past week it was actually huge. Since November 22, some 65,000 consumers had placed advanced orders to KT Corp., Apple’s partner in South Korea. While the company hasn’t offered sales forecasts, those pre-orders were actually higher-than-expected.