Cellphone makers shipped more than 1 billion handsets for the first time in 2006, driven by a strong holiday season in which shipments rose nearly 20% to a record 295 million devices, the technology research firm IDC reported Thursday.
The two biggest suppliers posted strong gains to boost their market shares in the quarter, with No.2 Motorola tightening the gap slightly with industry leader Nokia. However, profit margins declined for both companies.
The fourth-quarter activity drove the year's total shipments to 1.02 billion phones, up 22.5% from the 2005 tally of 833 million units.
Amazing, this means almost 1/6th of the world got a new cell phone last year.