Nokia records Christmas sales boost

Nokia had a welcome gift this Christmas, as thousands of mobile addicts bought its phones: more than two and a half million of them according to Canalys.

The final quarter for 2004 saw shipments of mobile devices rocket 51 per cent, according to the research company, but there were clear winners and losers.

Nokia is clearly the former, not only selling nearly 5mn phones in Q4, but also grabbing some serious market share: 45.4 per cent.

On a smaller scale, RIM showed it is really getting some traction with its email-savvy BlackBerry devices. Shipments rose 249 per cent year on year and it has more than doubled its market share.

However, the plain old PDA is simply not attracting much attention in the shops. While GPS and other ‘task’-based devices continue to do well, PIM functionality alone is not enough. Both HP and palmOne lost market share – although both had improved sales figures. But palmOne in particular dropped 5.4 per cent to 13.8 per cent market share.

It is not oblivious to the market trend, however, and is focussing heavily on its Treo range of smartphones. And palmOne remains the leading smart phone vendor in the US. Sales of its smartphones rose 154 per cent, while standalone handhelds dropped 6 per cent.

This mirrors the general stagnancy of the handheld market: while data-centric devices, which include wireless and ‘unconnected’ handhelds grew just 5 per cent, voice-centric devices such as smartphones and feature phones (with integrated cameras and so on) grew 101 per cent year on year.

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