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GfK Asia Releases 2006 Pan Asian Mobile Phone and Digital Im

Regional mobile phone market meets GfK Asia's volume growth forecast

SINGAPORE, Feb. 15 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- GfK Asia releases its 2006 Pan Asian Mobile Phone and Digital Imaging Summary, showing that mobile phone 大发体育sales grew 38% in volume across the region throughout the year, as the market research firm had forecasteAAAAAAAAA> Color Camera Phones Dominate; Unit Price Decline Slows

Of the three mobile phone categories assessed across 11 Asian countries* in 2006 - color with camera, color display without camera, and monochrome - color camera phones continued to dominate the market. Color camera phones had a reported overall increase of approximately 49% for volume and 35% for value during 2006 when compared to the previous year, with just under 119 million units sold totaling over US$30 billion in sales.

Total Asian market phone sales were up by approximately 38% for volume during 2006 against the previous year, with over 169 million units sold totaling US$39 billion in sales. Interestingly, the value increase of approximately 23% during 2006 when compared to 2005 represents a slowing in the decline in per-unit prices, a market trend seen in previous years.

"While the low-end phone market continues to be concentrated in rural areas, the market for high-end phones, which retail for approximately US$350 or more, is growing, especially in urban and suburban areas. We are seeing that consumers are increasingly willing pay for greater pixel class, 3G-ready or even HSDPA-ready handsetAAAAAAplains Stanley Kee, Commercial Director of Imaging and Telecommunication, GfK Asia.

Trends in China and India

While China* continued to dominate the regional market with the greatest overall mobile phone sales for volume and value, with over 115 million units sold in 2006 and over US$19 billion in retail sales, India demonstrated the most dramatic growth of all countries surveyed, with sales volumes doubling year-on-year, and the total US$ sales value increasing by 67%.

India reported a doubling of monochrome mobile phone sales, as well as a 136% increase in sales of color phones with camera during 2006 when compared to the previous year. The only other country to report more than a 50% year-on-year increase in volume of sales in 2006 against 2005 was Vietnam, with 58%.

Most of the 11 countries surveyed reported an increase in both total retail sales volume and total retail value, with the exception of Taiwan and the Philippines.

"We've seen this before in Taiwan, but not in the Philippines. There are drastically different realities behind these numbers," says Mr. Kee. "Taiwan's mobile market is mature. In the Philippines, this lack of growth supports the industry's concentration on ARPU rather than new handset sales. Additionally, it also confirms the presence of a thriving 'used phone' market in the Philippines, estimated to be as great as 4 million units in 2006 alone."

Monochromes Nearing End of Product Life Cycle; India Sole Exception

Sales of monochrome phones continued to decline across the region, reinforcing GfK Asia's 2005 Mobile Phone Summary, which indicated that they are nearing the end of their product life cycle.

India was the only country to report dramatic increases in both the color display without camera and monochrome categories during 2006, with an approximate increase of 97% for volume for color display without camera and an increase of 100% for volume for monochrome when compared to the previous year.

Digital Imaging Trends for 2006

China continued to dominate the region's* digital imaging market, commanding a large portion of the total market, absorbing more than 6.4 million units totaling more than US$2.1 billion in sales for Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) and compact digital cameras in 2006. In addition, sales of DSLR cameras in China more than doubled in 2006 when compared to the same period last year. Indonesia followed the closest behind in growth, showing a strong increase in overall retail sales for total digital imaging products at 54% in volume and 61% in value when compared to its 2005 results. DSLR cameras reported lower volume levels when compared to compact cameras from country to country. However, its growth rate in units was actually higher in every market, demonstrating the increasing presence of the DSLR segment. GfK Asia 2006 results showed the total market volume grew by 24% in 2006, with DSLR volumes increasing by 67%.

About GfK Asia Pte LtAAAAAAA> GfK Asia Pte Ltd (GfK Asia), part of the global GfK Group, is a leading research company. Our analysts track a broad range of consumer technology markets, including: consumer electronics, telecommunications, IT, household electrical appliances (large and small) as well as digital imaging. GfK Asia covers 55 product groups and over 300,000 models, collecting monthly data from over 6,000 specialist / independent shops as well as over 170 organised retailers with approximately 15,000 outlets. For further information please visit our website: www.gfkms.com

Editors Notes:

*Data for mobile phone sales from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, India and the Philippines.

*GfK China monthly mobile phone retail sales tracking covers GSM, CDMA as well as PHS network.

*Data for digital imaging sales from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, New ZealanAAAAAAAA> Detailed data breakdown available upon request.

Media Contact:

Cathleen Witter

Tel: +65-6402-0524 / 8161-9734

Email: cathleen@bryantwilliamson.com

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