Cellphone Market Expected To Shrink In 2009

Considering the condition of the overall economy, few will be surprised by the latest report on the handset market. Strategy Analytics has publicly forecast that the worldwide mobile phone market will shrink nine percent during the course of 2009, which would mark the sector's first decline since 2001. The firm stated that it "expected the first half of 2009 to be very weak, as the industry is hit by a double whammy of slowing post-holiday shipments in developed markets and subdued demand during the normally buoyant Chinese New Year in Asia."

As for exact figures, it has forecast that 1.08 billion handsets will be sold in 2009, down from 1.18 billion in 2008. If this proves true, it will be just the second time ever that the mobile handset market has seen a reversal since the industry began in 1983. Already, the global economic slowdown has led to the sector's weakest Q4 since the October to December window in 2001.

As expected, most of the major handset makers have already admitted that this year will be a tough one compared to the record-setting string of years that investors had grown accustomed to, but with the promise of more Android-powered mobiles and Palm's hotly anticipated Pre just around the bend, the overall numbers could actually surprise a few pundits.