1 Billion Phones!! Oh My!!

Not that I really care about handsets, just trying to get some interesting stuff on the blog. But I did read somewhere that the average price for mobile handsets in places like China and India is something like US$20 (which is really still lots of money in some parts of the world). There is a severe difference between a high-end mobile device (like the iPhone) and a $20 handset (like the Virgin Mobile Oyster I bought for my kids at Christmas).

The handset industry finally did it. It shipped more than 1 billion phones in 2006, says research firm IDC. Vendors shipped 1.02 billion phones, to be exact--an increase of 22.5 percent from 2005's 833 million phones. The Christmas selling season pushed the industry over the threshold, says IDC. A record 295 million devices were sold in the fourth quarter, but phone sales in emerging markets was the main driver, accounting for more than half of all shipments. We are seeing the toll, however, on both the No. 1 and No. 2 players, Nokia and Motorola. Both announced that the average selling prices (ASPs) of handsets are falling, making it harder to turn a profit.

To read more about phone shipments in 2006:
- check out this article from AP


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