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Cellphone Sales Expected to Decline in 2009

When the going gets tough, people usually hang on to their cellphones. But it's likely they won't get new ones as global economic uncertainty cramps consumer spending, according to cellphone makers and analysts. That means a slowdown in sales of handsets -- cellphones and smart phones -- that in recent years were booming as cellphones were viewed as essential to everyday life as a car and were becoming fashion statements, routinely replaced for cooler colors and thinner designs.

Today, Barclays analyst Jeff Kvaal lowered his estimates for cellphone sales in 2009 from a 3 percent growth to a 5 percent decline. Last Friday, Nokia said sales of handsets would fall in the fourth quarter and next year and forecast that 1.24 billion phones would be sold worldwide this year, down from a previous estimate of 1.26 billion.

"In the last few weeks, the global economic slowdown, combined with unprecedented currency volatility, has resulted in a sharp pull back in global consumer spending," Nokia said in a statement.

Those declines will hit Apple's sales of its popular iPhone, according to Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes, who for the second time in a month lowered his sales forecast for the phone. He now expects the company to sell 4.5 million iPhones in the first quarter ending December, down from previous estimates of 5 million.

By Cecilia Kang  |  November 17, 2008; 3:11 PM ET  | Category:  Cecilia Kang
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Man, you know things are bad when you have to give up your cellphone.

Posted by: katman13 | November 17, 2008 6:45 PM

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