According to MIC (Market Intelligence Center, Taiwan), an ICT industry research institute based in Taipei, mobile data services will be a key focus for Taiwanese telecom operators in 2008, with the growing popularity of 3G/3.5G mobile phones. Thanks to the promotional plans offered by telecom operators to boost 3G subscriber numbers, Taiwanese mobile phone market volume for the entire 2008 is expected to slightly advance 0.9% to 7.2 million units, with the share of WCDMA models expected to top 40%. Taiwanese mobile phone market sales volume advanced 6.7% sequentially to 1.90 million units in the first quarter of 2008, with market value reaching NT$11.2 billion (US$367.5 million; US$1=NT$30.5). According to MIC analyst Joyce Chen, "ASP (Average Selling Price) slipped to NT$5,882 (US$192.9), mainly due to promotional activities launched by Taiwanese telecom operator Chunghwa Telecom for its three low-price, entry-level 3G models, in a bid to boost 3G subscriber numbers and stimulate replacement demand". Sony Ericsson's Z610i and K530i models, both priced under NT$5,000 (US$163.9) received positive market reception, and this was also attributed to the ASP decline.
The share of WCDMA models jumped to 35.8% in the first quarter of 2008, up 7.8 percentage points from the fourth quarter 2007, with its market volume increasing by 181,000 units to 679,000 units in the first quarter. The share of GSM/GPRS models fell 7.4 percentage points to 60.6%, as many subscribers switched to WCDMA models. Regarding CDMA models, only sales of the low-price, entry-level Samsung S399 and Nokia N2505 models stood out, and thus the share of CDMA models slipped 0.4 percentage point to 3.6% in the first quarter.
The share of Smartphone and PDA phones reached 2.8% and 1.5% respectively in the first quarter 2008. Ms. Chen stated that in the Smartphone segment, the Nokia N73, N95, and N82 Smartphones achieved strong sales, while the PDA phone growth was derived from good market reception for the Touch series models Touch Color and Touch Dual.
Source: Cellular News.