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Nokia has Most Loyal Customers in APAC

According to the latest IDC Asia-Pacific market study, mobile phone shipments in the APEJ region -- excluding Japan -- in 2007 hit 366 million units, an 18 percent increase from 2006. Shipments are further projected to exceed 400 million units in 2008, representing a 10 percent year-on-year increase.

"The twin engines of this growth are India and the PRC, which together commanded more than 60 percent of shipments in the region," said Aloysius Choong, Research Manager of IDC's Asia-Pacific Personal Systems research. "We expect the India market to be particularly robust, swelling by another 19 percent in 2008."

Although both markets saw record subscriber growth in 2007, mobile penetration rates currently stand at about 20 percent in India and 40 percent in the PRC, so there is still much room for expansion.

IDC expects mobile number portability, which allows users to retain their phone numbers when changing service providers, to launch in India at the end of 2008, further spurring uptake in the country.

In the PRC, Motorola's cautious approach to the low-end mobile phone segment and the loosening of regulations have allowed more domestic players to join the game with affordable and attractive handsets, helping to expand the overall market.

Across most countries in the region, Nokia remains dominant, with its market share in APEJ surpassing 50 percent in 2007, up from 42 percent in the previous year.

Motorola, second place in 2006, saw its share halve in 2007 due to the waning RAZR series and the shift away from the ultra-low-end segment. Samsung was thus able to leapfrog into second place, buoyed by an outstanding 3G product line-up.

Sony Ericsson and LG kept their positions at fourth and fifth respectively, but both have experienced hiccups in the PRC due to hard-charging local competitors.

"Nokia is poised for continued success in the market, thanks to its strong brand, broad portfolio and uncompromising execution," said Melissa Chau, Associate Market Analyst of IDC's Asia-Pacific Personal Systems research.

According to IDC's Asia-Pacific study of over 2,000 consumers across 6 countries, almost 68 percent of current Nokia users indicated they expected to continue with a Nokia for their next purchase. This figure compared favorably to 48 percent for Samsung and 46 percent for Sony Ericsson.

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