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Motorola MOT 2250 -045 -20 can relate to the sour market reception The numbers it released last Thursday showed an 18 jump in fourth-quarter sales a 68 surge in earnings per share 13 cents of which came from a Turkish telecom companys debt repayment a 40 increase in mobile handset shipments and -- kiss of death -- in-line Q1 guidance Investors response a harsh 8 selloff on Friday As for the one surprise in Nokias report here it is Average selling prices or ASPs in industry parlance declined slightly Thats right Now I know Motorola said as much in its report last week but seems this price decline actually is an industrywide phenomenon Turns out maturing sales to developed markets and burgeoning sales to emerging markets dont translate into stronger-than-expected ASPs Go figure If you ask me investors and analysts have gotten a bit spoiled by recent sales of next-generation handsets that carry fat price tags Thing is those spurts of innovation and subsequent sales cycles come in waves -- they have for years The overall industry trend remains tilted toward declining ASPs This should come as a surprise to no one But whats being overlooked here is the very real impact that emerging-market sales are having on the mobile phone industry Ive written before about how certain segments of technology such as PCs and cellphones are getting their second wind as developing economies strengthen Its something that Kevin Landis portfolio manager of Firsthand Technology Value fund TVFQX 3581 -003 -01 and Firsthand Technology Leaders fund TLFQX 2048 013 06 among others discussed with me last month and its worth paying attention to Nokia is a perfect example of this Consider that the company saw a 23 increase in unit handset sales to Europe -- its largest market by far -- but a 64 surge to China Sure Nokias sales in China are less than a third of those in Europe but in the year-ago
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