The aggressive promotion of 3G services by mobile phone carriers was expected to stimulate the growth of the Taiwanese mobile phone market in Q3 2005. According to the Market Intelligence Center (MIC), sales of 3G handsets failed to live up to original expectations, as consumers were anticipating a drop in prices. However, thanks to the peak season effect, the overall sales volume still reached approximately 1.7 mln units in Q3 2005, similar to Q3 2004.
Due to the rollout of new mid-range and high-end multimedia models by manufacturers and channel players, sales value hit around NT$11.6 bln, up 2% YTY, with ASP (Average Selling Price) reaching NT$6,642 (approximately US$200), also up 2% YTY. Mobile phone vendors have been aggressively developing the mid-range and high-end segments, and therefore models priced over NT$10,000 accounted for about 25% of total sales, up 9% points YTY, while sales volume of such models soared 57% YTY. Looking at product specs, mobile phone makers have been pushing 0.3MP and 1MP camera phones in the two aforementioned market segments, thereby raising the share of mobile phones with built-in camera modules to almost 60%, for a YTY increase of 12%.
European and US mobile phone vendors Motorola, Nokia, and Sony Ericsson had a combined market share of around 60% in Q3 2005, up 4% sequentially and 11% YTY. Facing low-price strategies from Motorola and Nokia and the strengthening of mid-range and high-end lineups by Sony Ericsson and Samsung, local Taiwanese brands only had a market share of around 20%, down three%age points sequentially and 4% YTY. With the exception of Samsung, Korean brands also suffered from the strong competition presented by first tier vendors. Overall, Korean brands commanded 13% of the market, similar to Q2 2005 but down 6% YTY. The combined market share of Japanese brands only reached approximately 10%, similar to Q3 2004.