After 25 years of stellar growth, the cell phone (also known as mobile phone) industry faces huge challenges this year from a poor economy and a lack of new features, reports In-Stat . The bleak cell phone industry outlook is unprecedented, with dramatic ramifications for device manufacturers, semiconductor manufacturers, and mobile operators alike.
“While the cell phone industry has generally been unaffected by economic ups and downs, the near future is different,” says Allen Nogee, In-Stat analyst. “The current economic slowdown is more widespread and deeper than ever experienced during the cellphone’s lifetime, and has spread through Europe, Asia, and North America. In addition, this is the first year without any new major features being added, and last year’s new feature, mobile TV, has only become popular in limited regions.”
Recent research by In-Stat found the following:
* Over 1.2 billon cell phones were estimated to have shipped in 2008, but the growth rate is plummeting.
* For the next five years, cell phone semiconductor revenue will only grow at a 3.3% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).
* Shipments of dual-mode cellular/Wi-Fi phones shipped will quadruple from 2008 to 2012.
* The market for digital baseband semiconductors in WCDMA handsets will reach more than $6 billion annually in 2012.
* In 2008, cell phone semiconductor revenue was expected to reach more than $44.5 billion, up over 6.2% over 2007.