Phone manufacturers set to launch flagship devices in Q4 to boost worldwide sales

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The Independent Tech

The mobile phone market is starting to show the first signs of recovery. Phone manufacturers worldwide are attempting to boost this trend by selling older devices at reduced prices and launching flagship phones to attract new customers in the fourth quarter of 2009.

According to market analyst IDC's October 29 Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report, third-quarter mobile phone shipments reached a total of 287.1 million units worldwide. The figure was down 6.0 percent on last year's third quarter shipments, but showed a 5.6 percent improvement from the second quarter of 2009.

"The mobile phone market is showing the first signs of improvement since the onset of the economic crisis," said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team.

"During the third quarter, we saw a number of channels promoting older devices at significantly lower prices. For many, this was enough to spur demand and push volumes higher. Now that we have moved into the fourth quarter, vendors are setting the stage for further gains by launching their flagship devices to meet pent-up demand."

Major mobile makers are strategically planning their return to a more financially stable market with new and improved ranges of high-powered "Superphones".

Finnish-based phone manufacturer Nokia has announced it will launch the N900 - a phone based on Nokia's internet tablet devices and designed for a computer-like experience on a phone - in November. Motorola will ship its Android-based DROID - the first smartphone to run on Google's Android 2.0 mobile OS - in the US in November too (there are rumors the device will also be released in the European market under the alias "Milestone").

Samsung, LG Electronics and Sony Ericsson are also expected to release new devices in the lead-up to the Christmas holiday shopping period.