The global mobile handset market ended 2007 with a bang, recording shipments of more than 300 million devices in the fourth quarter, according to a report released by IDC Friday. While year-over-year growth for 2007 slowed, the 334 million handsets shipped during the holiday season set a new industry record and was an increase of some 15 percent over the previous quarter.Shipments in 2007 totaled more than a whopping 1 billion units at 1,144.1 million, representing 12.4 percent in overall growth.Growth in 2008 and beyond will look much different, however, IDC said. Double-digit gains are a thing of the past from now through 2012, the research firm said, and growth will slow with the market reporting single digit increases.”Over the last three years, growth in the industry during the holiday quarter has fluctuated from 18 percent to 30 percent, and this past quarter we saw it drop to 11.6 percent,” said Ryan Reith, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.”The expectation that the market would maintain the level of growth it saw over the last three years was unrealistic. We expect growth to be in the single digits throughout 2008 and most likely for years to follow,”… Read full this story
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