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Ops rake it in with branded handsets

Mobile operators are likely to be cheered by forecasts suggesting they will earn about $10.7bn worldwide through the sale of own-branded handsets in 2007.

According to a report by US-based analyst ABI Research, this figure is almost 23 per cent up on last year’s $8.7bn.

The firm expects the market for operator branded handsets to grow to over 127 million units by 2011.

In a statement, ABI analyst Shailendra Pandey said: “”In the past, private branded handsets have mostly been high-end feature phones and smartphones supplied to operators by the likes of HTC, Sharp, and Quanta. Now, however, the growing demand for low-cost and ultra-low-cost handsets means that operators also have opportunities to provide private branded handsets in this segment.

They can partner with selected local manufacturers who will be able to address the low-cost market by avoiding import costs and benefiting from the skill sets and cheap labor of indigenous work forces.”

A number of handset vendors telecoms.com contacted, said that the issue was too sensitive to comment on. They were possibly referring to a noticeable shift in the market as operators’ increasingly leverage their purchasing power with Original Design Manufacturers (ODM) to promote their latest services.


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