Handset Market in July 2012


The demand in the handset market during July 2012 shrunk compared to June. We measure demand as the amount of handsets sold through the retail channel to subscribers, which is sell through or sell out volume. Due to weak demand in Europe and North America along with the stagnant market in Developing Regions overall Global demand was weak.Typical seasonality in July is 10% higher than June so this is a bad start for Q3 2012. Sell-through demand usually dictates the sell-in supply one month ahead so there is a high chance of a weak Q3 in terms of handset shipments. Handset inventory has been on the rise for 3 months now.

We estimate sell-in shipments were 129M units only growing a fraction compared to the 127M of June 2012. Handset shipments in 2012 have not exceeded the peak in March when shipments reached 137M units. This is due to the European crisis and the economic downturn in China.

Of the major handset vendors Samsung is still showing relative strength as shipments continue to grow. Galaxy S III is now the bestselling model for Samsung as sales reach 2.7M a month and we calculate this translates to more than 4M sell-in shipments a month. Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note shipments have started to fall in contrast. Galaxy Y and the new Galaxy Ace devices are steady sellers globally. Apple’s iPhone 4S is the top global seller selling close to 6M units a month. Nokia is still struggling with the Lumia smartphone series but the new Asha line up is doing quite well selling 5M units a month now.


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