Worldwide Handset Shipments in the First Quarter Increased More Than 16% Over 2002, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – APRIL 30, 2003 – The worldwide market for handsets grew in the first quarter of 2003, reflecting broad consumer interest in voice-enabled mobile devices. According to IDC's Worldwide Handset QView, worldwide handset shipments grew by 16.6% year-over-year in 1Q03 and dropped sequentially by 12.4% to 107.6 million units. Nokia maintained its top position in the market while LG Electronics replaced Sony Ericsson in the top 5.


"The evolution of color displays, digital imaging, and converged handheld devices continues to drive growth in the worldwide handset market," said Ross Sealfon, research analyst in IDC's Smart Handheld Devices program. “Despite continued economic uncertainty, a strong first quarter supported by new technologies and form factors indicates healthy industry growth during 2003."

Within the worldwide handset shipment total, the market for converged handheld devices, or 'smartphones,' is just beginning to accelerate. In the first quarter of 2003, the worldwide converged handheld device market grew 438.3% year-over-year and 37.6% sequentially to 1.76 million units. Reflecting the convergence of wireless voice and data capabilities, the market is expanding rapidly through new form factors, operating systems, and functionality. During the quarter, a number of new Palm OS, Pocket PC Phone Edition, Windows-powered Smartphone, and Symbian OS-powered converged handheld devices were introduced to the market. These devices join a number of newly shipping products, which will drive market expansion through 2003 and beyond.

“At the true intersection of handsets and personal computing, the converged handheld device market is just beginning to grow," said Alex Slawsby, research analyst in IDC's Smart Handheld Devices program. “Improvements in device form factor, coupled with carrier subsidies, are now putting converged handheld devices within the reach of the everyday consumer resulting in a mass market volume opportunity."

QView Highlights

Nokia – Led by the availability of new handsets, including the 3650, Nokia shipped more than twice as many units as its closest competitor and maintained its leadership status. Of particular note, Nokia pushed the industry in new directions with the announcement of its N-Gage mobile game deck, 3300 music device, and 6800 messaging device.

Motorola – Motorola maintained the number 2 spot through a growing worldwide portfolio of color display devices and unique form factors.

Samsung – In contrast to prevailing industry trends, Samsung handset shipments increased 4.1% sequentially to 13.2 million units.

LG – Due to an aggressive product strategy and expanding worldwide carrier presence, LG moved into the top 5 during the first quarter with 30.7% sequential growth and 109.7% year-over-year growth to 5.6 million units.

Converged Handheld Devices – With nearly 56% share, driven by the shipments of its 3650 and 7650 imaging-enabled models, Nokia continues to dominate the converged handheld device market. Supported by the sales of its P800, SonyEricsson entered the top 5 list at the second spot with 11.1% share.

Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide Handset Shipments and Market Share, 1Q 2003 (Preliminary)

Rank Vendor 1Q 2003

Shipments 1Q 2003

Market Share

1 Nokia 38,150,400 35.5%

2 Motorola 16,700,000 15.5%

3 Samsung 13,200,000 12.3%

4 Siemens 8,000,000 7.4%

5 LG 5,620,000 5.2%

Other 25,916,102 24.1%

Total 107,586,494

Notes: Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.

Handsets — These small, battery-powered, voice-centric devices utilize operator-provided cellular/PCS air interfaces for voice communication. They are designed primarily, in both form factor and feature set, for a compelling mobile telephony experience, but may also include text-messaging capability. Handsets may include a headset jack for hands-free operation as well as a variety of features, such as personal information management, multimedia, games, or office applications. Handsets exist at all points along the form factor, price point, and feature set continua. Handsets that combine voice communications capabilities with pen or keypad handheld data features are tracked within the Converged Devices category.

Source: IDC, April 23, 2003

Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide Converged Device Shipments and Market Share, 1Q 2003 (Preliminary)

Rank Vendor 1Q2003

Shipments 1Q2003

Market Share

1 Nokia 980,000 57.3%

2 SonyEricsson 190,000 11.1%

3 Motorola 127,000 7.4%

4 Samsung 88,000 5.1%

5 Handspring 70,000 4.1%

Other 255,557 14.9%

Total 1,710,557

Notes: Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.

Converged Handheld Devices — These mobile devices are either voice or data centric and are capable of synchronizing personal information and/or email with server, desktop, or laptop computers. Positioned to solve the "multiple device question" and replacing the need to carry a mobile phone and a pen-based handheld or a mobile phone and a pager, for example, these devices may also include an expanding list of features, such as multimedia or email. These devices must match wireless telephony capability to evolved operating systems or application environments, such as the Palm OS, Microsoft Pocket PC Phone Edition 2002, Microsoft Windows Smartphone, and the Symbian platform. These devices must include the ability to download data to local storage, run applications, and store user data beyond their required PIM capabilities. Converged handheld devices must also offer the full extent of their application processing capability to the user, regardless of network availability

Source: IDC, April 23, 2003

IDC's Worldwide Handset QView provides device vendors, software developers, service providers, and component suppliers with timely and accurate information on the worldwide handset market. The program provides quarterly measurements of worldwide unit shipments and vendor market shares.

For more information about IDC's Worldwide Handheld Qview program, please contact Demetrios Louloudes at 508-935-4356 or

About IDC

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