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Mobile phone sales will rise at just 4.5 per cent in 2005, according to an in-depth study by market research firm Forward Concepts.

Entitled Global Cellular Handset & Chip Markets, the study notes that 2004 saw 715 million handsets shipped around the world.

This year, says the study "overall unit sales will...

Mobile phone sales will rise at just 4.5 per cent in 2005, according to an in-depth study by market research firm Forward Concepts.

Entitled Global Cellular Handset & Chip Markets, the study notes that 2004 saw 715 million handsets shipped around the world.

This year, says the study "overall unit sales will increase only by 4.5 per cent to the 746 million level… as larger markets for older technologies decline, offsetting strong gains by newer technologies".

TDMA shipments will fall by 30 per cent in 2005. "Even traditional GSM shipments will decline by a projected 23 per cent this year," said the firm.

Growth markets are in the newer high bandwidth technologies. EDGE enabled handsets will grow by over 50 per cent to hit 60 million units. W-CDMA will grow by 165 per cent reaching 45 million units.

More entry level phones, such as PHS (personal handyphone service) devices will continue to grow in areas such as China, Taiwan and India.

"Our assessment is that Texas Instruments remains the number-one cellular chip provider, overall, and also the number-one provider of baseband chips for both 2G and 3G/UMTS cellular," said Carter Horney, principal author of the report.

"With their OMAP2 application processor they have quickly become number one in that market segment as well. TI can't be complacent though, since Qualcomm still dominates the CDMA market and has a large number of design-ins for its UMTS baseband chips.  Freescale Semiconductor had a very good year in 2004 and is also gaining ground in the cellular chip market."

Forward Concepts' analysis also forecasts (by technology and by region) handsets, chips, and subscribers (by country), while profiling mobile phone OEMs, ODMs, cellular operators and the key chip vendors.

Forecasts cover technology (2G, 2.5G, 3G, HSDPA, 3.5G) and estimates the market shares of the 40 major mobile phone vendors, market shares of the top chip vendors for digital basebands, analogue basebands/power management, RF transceivers, RF power amplifiers, application processors, camera sensors, Bluetooth and color display drivers.

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