STAMFORD, CT -- For the fourth quarter, worldwide mobile phone shipments dropped 4.6% from 2007 to 314.7 million units, according to Gartner Inc

Although worldwide shipments for the year rose 6% from last year to 1.22 billion units, the effects from the unstable economy were felt across the industry. The top five vendors saw a slide in shipments for the fourth quarter.
Mobile devices in emerging and developing markets saw a mere 2% growth for the quarter, the lowest quarter-on-quarter growth reported in a fourth quarter, said Gartner. Despite the popularity of mobile phones as Christmas presents, consumers were wary of the additional costs from the contracts.
Gartner reported that Nokia saw a drop in sales for the fourth quarter, selling almost 119 million units, yet taking a 37.7% market share. Sales were affected by delays in introducing products with touchscreen functions. Sony Ericsson’s shipments also fell, coming in at 23.6 million units for the quarter, with a 7.5% market share. The company could not lower its stock levels, creating an inventory.
Samsung saw its sales increase in Western Europe and Asia/Pacific due to the popularity of its Tocco, Innov8 and Omnia products. Fourth-quarter sales reached over 57.5 million units and grabbed an 18.3% share of the market. LG Electronics (LGE) took an 8.9% market share, with sales for the quarter climbing to 28.1 million units due in part to strong sales at TracFone and its dominant position at Verizon Wireless.
Motorola had a dismal fourth quarter. Shipments dropped to 21.7 million units, only a 6.9% market share. The lack of 3G products and touchscreen devices, as well as an overall absence of compelling products, is responsible for the decline, according to Gartner.
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