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China, India Capture Mobile Handset Growth

Emerging markets now account for over two thirds of all mobile phone handset shipments -- with China and India leading the growth -- according to the latest market study by Futuresource Consulting.

"The global handset market will decline by around 3 percent in 2009, with consumers and businesses alike keeping hold of their handsets for longer," says David Sidebottom, Digital Media Consultant at Futuresource Consulting.

"However, China and India continue to buck the global trend, and our forecasts show year-end growth in both these countries, giving them a combined share of almost 30 percent of the total global handset market by the end of the year, compared to just 20 percent in 2006.

The USA has also performed better than anticipated, bolstered by strong smartphone and pre-pay sales. Conversely, Japan has been severely hit this year, largely due to new pricing regulations. The UK market has been one of the hardest hit, with the mid-range sector taking the greatest decline.

However, despite the poor start to the year, many markets across the globe are now seeing signs of recovery, which will help alleviate the extent of this year's decline.

The U.S. and the UK have seen a groundswell of smartphone sales this year, accounting for around 30 percent of handsets sold and the iPhone has been instrumental in changing consumer perceptions of the market, not only in terms of its business models, design, simplicity and content, but also through promoting a software-based solution rather than one based purely upon the hardware.

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