GN is Now the World Headset Market Leader

Nov 07, 2005, 00:00 ET from GN Netcom

    NASHUA, N.H., Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- GN today announced that it has now
 taken over the position as the world's largest manufacturer of headsets in
 terms of revenue. The entire revenue in GN's headset divisions has in the
 third quarter of 2005 reached one billion Danish Krones for the first time,
 the exact figure amounting to approximately 1079 million Danish Krones
 (approximately 180 million USD).
     "For the first time ever, GN can say that we are the global headset leader
 based on revenue. This has been our ambition for many years and this quarter
 marks the realization of that goal," said Jorn Kildegaard, President and CEO,
 GN. Kildegaard added that GN has its employees to thank for making the company
 the leader in this growth market.
     The headset divisions, GN Mobile and GN Netcom, now operate in over 30
 countries, and sell products in more than 80 countries worldwide through
 80,000 retail and other distribution channels. From being a niche product to
 being indispensable in call centers, headsets are rapidly becoming a standard
 mainstream accessory for stationary phones and mobile phones all over the
 world -- both in and outside the office.
     In the global consumer market for headsets, GN Mobile is currently
 generating annual growth rates estimated at more than 50 percent a year. And
 in the office market through GN Netcom, GN is currently generating annual
 growth rates of more than 25 percent.
     Danish innovation -- Chinese production
     GN launched the world's first mobile Bluetooth(R) headset, one of the very
 few Bluetooth products to see the light of day in 2002. Through a dedicated
 effort, GN has taken only a few years to become the leading manufacturer of
 mobile headsets through the GN Mobile division's Jabra brand and sales to OEM
 customers. Today, GN's product offering is also comprised of office headsets
 marketed through its GN Netcom division. Initially, wireless products
 accounted for a fairly small part of the global headset market. For example,
 in 2001, wireless products accounted for only 15 percent of GN's entire
 headset revenue. In the first three quarters of 2005, this figure rose to 66
 percent and for this quarter the figure amounts to 72 percent.
     The functionality of headsets is constantly improving, as is their
 technical complexity. At the same time, customers require smaller and more
 aesthetically appealing products. Therefore, GN is expanding its development
 department in Copenhagen and recently opened an additional development
 facility in Aalborg, Demark.
     All of GN's headsets are manufactured in China. In 2005, GN expects to
 produce 25 million headsets, amplifiers and other devices. Twenty percent of
 these units are manufactured at GN's factory in Xiamen, the rest are
 manufactured by subcontractors. GN estimates revenue for the entire headset
 business of 3.5 billion Danish Krones (approximately 575 million USD) in 2005.
 Due to the Chinese production, GN has the lowest unit costs in the industry,
 Kildegaard said.
     New markets for headsets
     The market demand for headsets is rapidly changing due to enormous growth
 in IP-telephony, computer games, MP3 players and other digital devices. The
 number of consumers who wish to use their headsets in connection with these
 devices is growing exponentially.
     GN's headset divisions have been repeatedly recognized for their
 outstanding innovations. The latest example is the world's first Bluetooth 2.0
 headset. International acclaim for GN Mobile's range of Jabra products,
 several of which are worn behind-the-ear, is underscored by numerous industry
 awards, including several CES Innovations Honoree awards at the Consumer
 Electronics tradeshow, the CNET Editor's Choice award and Red Dot and IF
 Design Awards. GN Netcom's wireless headsets for the office market have also
 won several awards, for example the GN 9120 for design excellence, including
 the IF Design award and the "G-Mark" Good Design award.
     According to leading market analysts, the global market for wireless
 Bluetooth headsets will continue to expand in the coming years. According to
 an IMS forecast from September 2005, by the end of 2010 the total number of
 units sold is expected to reach 182 million.
     About GN Netcom
     GN Netcom is the global innovator in wireless headset technology. Careful
 attention to the market enables GN Netcom to develop and market a unique and
 broad portfolio of high-quality wireless and corded headsets as well as
 related products for fixed line, mobile and IP telephony. GN Netcom constantly
 innovates, continuously strengthening its position as the first company in the
 industry to apply new technologies, new products and features that improve
 sound clarity, wearing comfort and durability.
     About GN Mobile
     GN Mobile is the world's largest producer of mobile Bluetooth headsets and
 a division of GN Store Nord headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. GN Mobile's
 business activities include both the Jabra brand of products and GN's original
 equipment manufacturing (OEM) business.
     About GN Store Nord
     GN Store Nord has been helping people connect since 1869. Initially as a
 telegraph company and now as a global market leader in personal communications
 providing increased mobility and quality of life for its users. GN develops
 and manufactures headsets for hands-free communication, hearing instruments
 and audiologic diagnostics equipment. GN products are marketed globally.
     Jabra(R) is a registered trademark of GN Mobile A/S (GN Netcom A/S). All
 other trademarks included herein are the property of their respective owners.
 The Bluetooth(R) word mark and logos are owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and
 any use of such marks by GN Mobile A/S (GN Netcom A/S) is under license.