New Phones Selling Well- Maybe Too Well
By Eric Lin, Thu Dec 04 23:15:00 GMT 2003

Phones are literally flying of the shelves this holiday shopping season; not that anyone's complaining. However phone makers, suppliers and most stores weren't ready for such strong demand, and now there's actually a shortage of handsets in the supply chain.

According to a Reuters article, the main factor is not an improving economy- although that is certainly a contributor, it is that more advanced phones are available at lower prices, tempting users to purchase upgrades as a present to themselves or for loved ones. In Europe and North America that means camera phones are in short supply, while in developing regions, hip low end models like the Nokia 2300 are hard to find.

Bigger manufacturers, as well as more popular stores can use their buying muscle to keep phones, or the components for manufacturing them, in stock. Smaller chains and manufacturers will have a tough time getting the most sought after handsets into stores and into stockings. While short component supplies might be an acceptable excuse for low inventories from smaller manufacturers, what about powerhouses like Motorola? They claim the delay of other models like the v600, as well as the small supplies of shipping models like the v300 and v500 are due to component shortages. Wireless Week puts them in their place, reminding readers that Motorola was just plain late to the cameraphone game.