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Handset Forecast to Reach 899 Million

Mobile phone handset vendors and operators are finding it increasingly challenging to grow and carve out market share, according to a report released next month by Informa Telecoms & Media. With key prosperous markets reaching high penetration levels and vendors that have previously focused on specific regions now pursuing global expansion strategies, a much reduced growth rate is predicted from 2008, with handset sales forecast to reach 899 million by 2010, from their 2005 level of 743 million.

In 2004, subscribers worldwide totalled 1.59 billion with expectations for 2005 of 1.94 billion, a year-on-year increase of 20.5 percent. Driven by the ever-expanding Asian markets, China is the world�s single largest market in terms of subscribers, accounting for more than one-in-five of all subscribers worldwide at the end of 2004. The next milestone � the 2 billion subscriber mark - is expected to be surpassed sometime in 2006.

The number of mobile phone users has risen year on year and it is expected that by 2010 there will be over 2.7bn mobile users globally. The main drive for this growth will come from countries such as India and China in the Asia Pacific region and by 2010 the region will contribute almost half of the mobile subscribers globally as subscribers rise from 843m in 2005 to 1.3bn.

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