1/7/2010 10:50:00 AM
Mobile phone sales dip at close of 2009
The final weeks leading up to Christmas saw a dip in
handset sales, despite some operators reporting record sales for
the period, according to data from analyst firm GfK.
The figures revealed that sales had risen by 0.5% to 633,000
units by week 49 of last year compared with 2008, but they then
showed a sudden dip in the last two weeks.
According to one senior industry source, the slowdown reflected
some operators reaching the end of their budgets.
Despite this, some retailers reported record sales for the
Christmas period in 2009. Orange said it had been 'the best
Christmas ever' for mobile retail. A spokeswoman added: 'While
footfall was down over the period due to the snow, it did
not matter as Christmas started early for us thanks to a strong
device portfolio and Christmas Gift Box.'
Meanwhile, Tesco said it had been a 'great Christmas' in terms of
the number of activations and iPhone sales, and also across the
O2 consumer sales director Stephen Shurrock said business over
the Christmas break was 'in line with our expectations', and
added: 'Key drivers continue to be the high-end smartphones and
simplicity. In-store footfall and online traffic were both
Phones 4u reported it had exceeded its targets for 2009 due to a
busy Christmas period. Trading director Scott Hooton said:
'Christmas was a successful trading period for Phones 4u, with
positive sales numbers resulting in the business finishing 2009
ahead of targets.'
Carphone Warehouse Ceo Andrew Harrison said: 'Our focus has been
on gaining market share and we are delighted with our progress
against our plans.'
Sales for week 50 saw a fall of 2.7% compared with 2008, to
655,000 units, while week 51 (ended 18 December), the last full
trading week, recorded an even bigger fall on 2008 - of 6.4% to
However, the figures were an improvement on the dip in sales
reported in 2008, where there was an overall decline of 7% on
handset sales over the Christmas period compared with