AUSTIN, TXThe mobile-handset market has not escaped the recession unscathed. Despite the resulting financial pressure, however, the global cellular installed base grew 14.1 percent year over year in 2009. The cellular installed base comprises all active devices on cellular networks. The installed base for third-generation (3G) networks in particular showed a considerable increase, growing 32.9 percent year over year. This growth highlights the strength of the industry overall as well as the bright future for evolving cellular technology.
While the 3G portion of the networks are projected to show the most growth through the forecast period, devices on second-generation (2G) networks are still expected to dominate the total market. In 2015, 2G devices are forecasted to make up 66.7 percent of the installed base. Most of these devices are located in the rapidly growing Asian and Middle East and African (MEA) markets. For the first time since 2001, shipments of new handsets declined 6.5 percent year over year. These shipments are projected to recover in 2010again, driven in large part by rapidly developing cellular opportunities in emerging markets.
This past year also saw a shift in the types of handsets being sold. Despite the overall market contraction, shipments of smartphones grew more than 15 percent year over year. Additionally, the attach rates of features like WLAN and GPS increased significantly, as the use cases for mobile handsets continue to evolve beyond voice communication. These and a range of other mobile-handset market trends are examined in IMS Research's recently published report, "The World Market for Mobile Handsets 2010 Edition." Additional information and details regarding this report can be found at www.imsresearch.com.