Helsinki: Mobile phone sellers lowered their inventories in the fourth quarter by some 17 million cellphones as they expected demand to slow, research firm Gartner said on Tuesday.
“Low consumer confidence is forcing distributors and retailers to limit the volume they hold in stock, because the channel cannot afford significant capital investment,” the research firm said.
“Efforts to reduce inventory will intensify in the first quarter of 2009 and continue into the second quarter of 2009,” Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi said in a statement.
“In the second half of 2009, the channel will have to start re-stocking and this will help sell-in volumes. This will not mark the start of a market recovery -- we do not expect demand to stabilise before 2010.”
Gartner said top cellphone maker Nokia held 37.7% of the market in the fourth quarter, down from 40.4% a year ago.
South Korean vendors won market share, with Samsung Electronics’ stake rising to 18.3% from 13.4, and LG Electronics’ share rising to 8.9% from 7.1%.