The handset market in May 2011 shrunk slightly compared to April but inventory levels dropped slightly relieving tension of the market. Sell-through increased backed by markets like India and Africa but the Developed markets where gloomy and even China showed signs of stagnation. The Macro economic downturn is affecting replacement sales globally save a handful of countries.
The first quarter of this year ended with 393 million handsets shipped the typical first quarter inventory adjustment but sell-through in the first quarter was low leaving inventory levels quite high by the end of March. Sell-in shipments in April therefore fell to 131 million units compared to the ambitious 137 million units in March. Unless the sell-through increases significantly in June sell-in may drop even further in June.
During May the iPhone 4S was the smash hit model globally. We estimate the iPhone 4S 16G model to have sold 4 million units during the month of May. Apple’s iPhone 4 8G model follows with 2 million units and Samsung’s Galaxy S II series also sold similar units. Of the top 10 global handset models the ZTE Skate, Galaxy Y and Nokia 100 were notable models.