Samsung Cell Sales, Good Or Bad For Motorola (MOT)?

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Samsung sold almost 43 million handsets in the last quarter. During the first three quarters of the year, that number was 115 million, more than the company sold for the entire 2006 calendar year.

Sony Ericsson announced yesterday that it sold 26 million units during the quarter, up 31% from the same period last year.

These numbers would suggest that global handset sales are growing at about 25% That is unlikely. Most industry estimates are for about 12% year-over-year growth. "Informa estimates that global handset sales, which had risen by an average of 20 percent each year in 2005 and 2006, will slow to an average 5.6 percent annual growth from 2007 through 2012," according to The New York Times.

All of that would tend to spell trouble for Motorola (MOT). Its market share has been steadily dropping for a year. Only so many companies can increase sales by almost a third when the entire industry is not growing as quickly.

Douglas A. McIntyre