updated 06:20 pm EDT, Thu April 30, 2009
Cellphone shipments down
First-quarter cellphone shipments showed the worst fall ever, with a 13-percent drop from last year's numbers, according to a Strategy Analytics report. The industry experienced a similar drop in 2001, with a slide of 11 percent. The analysts explained the results as a consequence of retailer de-stocking and lowered consumer spending. All of the top five manufacturers saw a similar decline, although Samsung's sales only fell by one percent.
For several companies, smartphones established an alternative trend and contributed to rising sales. Apple recently reported its best non-holiday quarter ever, driven by a 123-percent increase in iPhone shipments year-over-year. The company surpassed analyst estimates with 3.79 million units sold.
RIM also broke a record this month, with BlackBerry sales that exceeded 7.8 million devices between December and February. Half of the customers were new subscribers to the BlackBerry service, indicating many have jumped from normal cellphones to smartphones.