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Global handset shipments decrease year-over-year


Global handset shipments have decreased year-over-year (YoY) for the second consecutive quarter, according to new data from the ABI Research Group (

Until now handset shipments haven’t seen a sequential YoY decline since the global economic crisis of 2008-2009. Although seasonality regularly brings a negative impact in Q2, the economic crisis in Western Europe has compounded the issue, leading to an uncommon annual contraction of handset shipments for two consecutive quarters, according to ABI Research senior analyst Michael Morgan.

Despite the seasonal and economic headwinds faced by the handset industry, both handset and smartphone shipments were able to eke out small QoQ [quarter-over-quarter] gains. Below the surface of the macro economic factors, many of the leading handset OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] continued to struggle with demand difficulties of their own making.

According to ABI Research, Apple experienced a 26% QoQ decline in shipments in Q2 as consumers withheld purchasing an iPhone in anticipation of the new model to be released in late Q3. RIM and Nokia experienced 14% and 30% QoQ declines respectively in smartphone shipments as both companies raced to transition to new operating systems before their cash reserves were depleted. In Q2, Samsung was able to offset a 13% decline in feature phone shipments with a 16% increase in smartphone shipments.

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