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Global cell-phone sales jumped 7.8% in the third quarter, and the rebound is expected to extend into the fourth quarter, according to a recent study.

Technology research firm Gartner Dataquest said quarterly mobile-handset sales reached 104.3 million units, and that the sales boost occurred in six geographic regions on a year-on-year basis.

"The positive momentum generated during the third quarter of 2002 seems well positioned to carry over into the fourth quarter of 2002," said Gartner Dataquest analyst Bryan Prohm. Fourth-quarter sales are expected to be driven by a flurry of new phones that will greet holiday shoppers this season.

South Korean electronics maker


led the sales charge. It sold 11 million phones, leading to a 52.4% jump in sales. It secured the company's No. 3 position in terms of global market share, with a 10.6% share.

The world's largest handset maker,


(NOK) - Get Nokia Oyj Report

, posted a 13.5% improvement, selling 37.4 million units. Its sales gave it a 35.9% market share. In its home region of Western Europe, one of every two cell phones sold in the quarter bore a Nokia badge.

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sold 15 million units, for a sales gain of 2.4%. It secured its No. 2 spot with a 14.4% market share.

However, joint venture

Sony Ericsson

saw sales slide more than 30%. The company sold 5 million units, compared with 7.2 million units in the same period last year, prior to the formation of the joint venture.

At an



strategy meeting Monday, executives blamed the joint venture's lackluster phone sales on limited availability of new models this year. In an interview, Sony Ericsson's corporate executive vice president, Jan Wareby, said shipment delays in two mass-market phones led to the quarter's disappointing sales.

After missing its internal targets in the fall, Ericsson told reporters that it might not continue to fund the cash-draining operation if it didn't reach profitability. Monday, officials backtracked and said they would continue to fund the operation, but didn't give any specific figures. Looking ahead, Wareby said the company is committed to raising its market share to 7% to 10% by the end of 2003, when it reaches profitability.