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Winners and loser in cell phone market

NOKIA and Samsung gained share in the Chinese cell phone market, the world's biggest, last year while Motorola's portion fell as it lacked compelling models such as touch-screen phones, research firm Gartner told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

By the end of 2008, Nokia still led the Chinese market with a 37 percent share, up from 35 percent a year ago. Samsung replaced Motorola as No. 2 with a 13 percent share against 9 percent a year ago. Motorola's market share dropped from 10 percent to 6 percent in 2008, according to Gartner Inc, a United States-based IT consulting firm.

Homegrown brands, including Tianyu and Lenovo Mobile, followed the overseas brands with about 4 percent of the market each, said Sandy Shen, an analyst at Gartner.

Nokia and Samsung deepened their imprint in the Chinese market by selling entry-level cell phones costing less than 1,000 yuan (US$147) and building distribution channels in the rural regions, industry insiders said.

"It (Motorola) has been losing market share in key regions because it lacks 3G products and touch-screen devices,'' said Gartner, adding that its ''current models do not support 'hot' features such as GPS."

Globally, Motorola is still No. 3 in the market by the end of last year but it lost more than 5 percent of its market share to 8.7 percent. The top two vendors were Nokia with 38.6 percent followed by Samsung with 16.3 percent, according to Gartner.

Motorola has closed a mobile phone plant in Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province, media reported yesterday. Motorola China declined to comment on the matter yesterday.



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