Reports give mixed messages on mobile growth - Mobile World Live

Reports give mixed messages on mobile growth

27 OCT 2009

The slowdown affecting the mobile industry may be getting worse – to judge from various new reports released today – but mobile Internet traffic appears to be surging. Reuters cites Internet browser firm Opera as stating that global mobile data traffic through its mobile portal rose in January by 18 percent on the previous month, the fastest pace of growth since May 2008. Opera has 20 million users of its Opera Mini browser, which all access the Internet through Opera’s servers and generated more than 122 million megabytes of data traffic for operators worldwide in January, Opera said Facebook and other social networking services were one of the key traffic generators. The Reuters report also cites statistics from Nokia Siemens Networks, which claims that data traffic on mobile operators’ networks rose on average 4.7 times last year, with some operators seeing traffic surge more than 10 times, boosted by the uptake of wireless data cards in laptops.

On a gloomier note, a new report from IDC states that three consecutive quarters of negative growth have led the Western European mobile phone market into recession. In its European Mobile Phone Tracker report, the analyst firm claims that vendors shipped 53.6 million units in Q4 2008, 13.5 percent lower than the 62 million units shipped in the year-earlier period. Elsewhere, iSuppli forecasts that global shipments of displays for mobile handsets are expected to decline by more than 6 percent in 2009 and remain flat in 2010 as worsening economic conditions continue to impact the mobile industry. And Gartner today notes that the impact of the financial crisis will result in the semiconductor industry experiencing near record revenue declines in 2009, with worldwide semiconductor revenue forecast to reach US$194.5 billion in 2009, a 24.1 percent decline from 2008 revenue.

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