The year 2009 may have started with a whimper, but by the fourth quarter, the global mobile handset market ended with a pretty reasonable bang. ABI Research estimates that 336.5 million handsets were shipped in the fourth quarter, up 15.1% from the previous quarter and 9.8% from the previous year. In the fourth quarter of 2008, handset shipments had plummeted (down 1.6% from the previous quarter, when they should have been up around 15%). Competition continued to squeeze handset ASPs. In comparison, in the fourth quarter of 2009, shipment-based ASPs were down 2% to $117.55.
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