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Mobile market to take hit in 2009?

A wave of economic gloom is expected to hit mobile phone buyers next year, and more and more analysts predict the once-buoyant market will shrink for the first time since the 2001 crash, a Reuters poll shows.

On average, analysts expect global growth to be 3 percent in both the fourth quarter and in 2009, compared with well above 10 percent in recent years. Eight out of 22 analysts said they expected the market to contract next year.

In a similar poll just a month ago, only one analyst out of 23 expected 2009 market sales volumes to fall, and then only slightly.

For the fourth quarter, analysts expect the market to grow 11.6 percent from the third quarter, less than the 13.5 percent estimated by Nokia, the world’s largest cellphone maker. The fourth quarter has traditionally been a bonanza for cellphone makers as consumers snap up phones for holiday gifts.

Read the full story in International Herald Tribune here.

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