3G and smart mobiles in the ascendant
Europe's love affair with the mobile continues - but for how much longer?
According to analyst house IDC, Western Europeans have bought 41.4 million devices in the last quarter - an increase of seven per cent year on year.
3G mobiles are in the ascendant, with W-CDMA devices now making up 21 per cent of shipments.
Despite stellar growth in the past, smart phones have seen growth drop back to around that of traditional mobiles as delays and inadequate portfolios have helped stymie smart phone growth.
The less impressive growth is also apparently to do with a lack of consumer education. Shoppers often choose their device by comparing specs of similar devices and are unaware whether they're looking at smart phones or high-end feature phones. Most, say the analysts, don't believe buying a smart phone will have additional benefits or are unsure what new functionality a smart OS can bring.
However, IDC believes that despite such impressive growth across the handset industry as a whole, the future may be more of a struggle for the manufacturers - with mobile penetration having been more than 100 per cent for some time and operators seeking to cut their costs as much as possible.