Japanese cell phone market up 11.4% in January 2006

Mobile phone shipments in Japan rose 11.4% in January 2006 from a year earlier on strong sales of high-speed third-generation (3G) handsets. More than 80% of the 3.507 mln phones shipped during the month were 3G, the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) said. Sales of 3G phones alone surged 27.1% to 2.819 mln units in January 2006 from January 2005. Shipments of older second-generation phones fell 36.9% in January to 559,000 units. Personal handyphone system (PHS) shipments nearly tripled to 129,000 units in January 2006, helped by the popularity of cheap voice services.