Mobile Phone Sales Up 22 Percent

A new report from Boston’s Strategy Analytics finds that mobile phone sales reached record levels in the third quarter of 2006, totaling some 256 million units, an increase of 22 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. And mobile users’ love affair with Motorola’s RAZR seems to be losing its spark, as demand for Walkman and Cyber-shot phones pushed the company’s growth rate to 43 percent, letting Sony-Ericsson take over the world’s fastest-growing major mobile phone maker.

Not that Motorola is entirely out of the picture: according to Strategy Analytics, the company will managed to grow annual sales by 39 percent, which in almost any business would be considered a resounding success. Finland’s Nokia also saw an uptick, selling 89 million units for an overall marketshare of 35 percent. Samsung also grew its market share a point, while LG managed a growth rate of just 6 percent despite the buzz surrounding its Chocolate music-phones,, its smallest growth showing since Strategy Analytics began keeping records.

Overall, the study finds 716 million phones were shipped during the first nine months of 2006, and Strategy Analytics is keeping with its forecast of 1 billion phones to be shipped during the calendar year. If it happens, it would represent a year-on-year increase of 22 percent…and mean that handset makers will have built one cell phone for every 6.7 or so people on the entire planet in this year alone.