Market research firm IDC reports that cell phone shipments will continue to grow this year, but at a slower pace. Last year the market experienced its biggest growth ever, it rose with 34 percent to 692 million units worldwide.
IDC says mobile phone shipments will slow down in most regions because many subscribers bought new phones during 2003 and 2004. The strong demand last year was mainly caused by emerging markets and the new cell phones with color displays and digital camera functionality.
Demand from emerging countries and first-time wireless subscribers will continue to drive growth for the sector. IDC predicts that this year's largest growth will come from emerging countries with a total expected volume increasing by more than 20 million units.
In 2005 the firm expects there will be about 1.7 billion active wireless subscribers worldwide. Wireless subscriber base growth will cointinue to exist in all regions through 2009, but some countries and regions are expected to reach near-full penetrations by the end of that year.