Shipments jump 20 per cent over last yearMultimedia and high-end phones are driving the European mobile phone market, with a healthy 20 per cent year-on-year growth reported for the second quarter of the year.
According to figures from IDC, phone shipments reached 37.6 million units in the quarter, and in light of this growth the analyst is now predicting the mobile phone market will grow 11 per cent this year.
Geoff Blaber, IDC's European mobile devices research analyst, said: "The sustained advancement in technological specifications is further shortening product life cycles and providing consumers with the necessary incentive to upgrade handsets, while providing vendors with new opportunities to position devices as converged multimedia solutions."
The analyst house said there had been year-on-year growth of 140 per cent for converged devices, with shipments of 2.7 million units in the quarter, increasing their proportion of the total mobile phone market to seven per cent, up from just four per cent in the second quarter of 2004.
It said Series 60 devices continued to do well, due to Nokia's success in positioning its 6630 and 6680 imaging smart phones, which has pushed smart phones further into the mass market.
But the analyst said features and form factor - rather than software - remain the primary decision criteria for most users, with the Motorola RAZR, Nokia 6230i, Samsung E720 and Sony Ericsson K750i all experiencing strong demand.
A wealth of new handsets expected in the second half of the year is also likely to boost the market, such as Sony Ericsson's Walkman range, Motorola's collaboration with Apple and Nokia's N91, it predicted.
Finnish giant Nokia increased its total market share to 35 per cent, largely fuelled by the wider availability of handsets launched in the first quarter and the release of fresh handsets in the second quarter.
Samsung, with shipments of six million units, retained second position behind Nokia for the second consecutive quarter, and Motorola increased its market share to 15 per cent.