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Reuters reported Friday that Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) believes 2007 global cellphone unit sales will climb 20%.

Global sales of mobile phones are expected to grow to between 1.1 billion and 1.2 billion units in 2007, up as much as 20 percent from about 1 billion units sold last year, a Texas Instruments official said on Friday. “We are optimistic on the growth momentum of low-price mobile phones,” Terry Cheng, the president of Texas Instruments Inc. [TI] Asia, told Reuters on the sidelines of a seminar in Taipei. TI is the world’s biggest cellphone chip maker.” The company has shipped large amounts of chips for low-price mobile phones since November and December last year, which will help boost our business significantly this year,” he said.

Um… shipments in November and December boosted last year’s business. You aren’t allowed to count them twice. And as to market growth, these numbers seem way too high.

In October, Merrill Lynch forecast about 950 million units for 2006 and less than 10% growth in 2007. That takes you to maybe 1.05 billion. That was also in line with an industry forecaster’s predictions.

At least we’ll give credit to TI for going out on a limb.

TXN 1-yr chart:

TXN 1-yr chart

Source: Wishful Thinking: TI Predicts 20% Handset Unit Growth in 2007