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Where did 15 million cell phones go?

April 22, 2007 in Wireless Industry News

One important part of every cell phone manufacturer’s earnings results is the sales volume for that quarter.

Last quarter, Nokia was expected to ship out anywhere from 94-100 million units – yet they ended up barely hitting the 91 million mark (it was 91.1 to be exact). Meanwhile, Samsung shipped out 34.8 million vs an expected 35 million, pretty much hitting the target. LG sold 15.8 million mobile phones, about 1 million more than last year. The most recent of the manufacturers, Sony Ericsson, reported shipping 21.8 million phones vs an expected 21.7 million.

…where is all of this going?

The one company that I neglected to mention, Motorola, had a pretty lousy quarter. That was already mentioned several times before. However, the interesting part of Motorola’s earnings report was the handset sales volume. Motorola was actually short 15 million cell phones compared to what Wall Street expected. But none of the other cell phone manufacturers really reaped the benefits of Motorola’s losses. So where’d those 15 million phones go?

That brings us to point number 2, which can be one of two things: either cell phone sales volumes are becoming more worse than expected, or there are a lot of analysts out there that need to do better math. According to TheStreet, this could be the first “downside unit surprise in a long time.”

Source: “The Case of the Vanishing Phones” – TheStreet

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