Nokia and Samsung raise cellphone market share
Global sales of mobile phones reached 294.3 million units in the first quarter of 2008, an increase of 13.6 per cent over the first quarter of 2007, according to a report by technology research firm Gartner Inc.
Nokia and Samsung Electronics, the world's two biggest makers of mobile phones, took market share from Motorola in the first quarter, the survey showed, GN reported.
Nokia raised its market share to 39.1 per cent from 35.5 per cent a year earlier and sold 115.2 million handsets.
Samsung maintained its momentum with sales reaching 42.4 million units.
The South Korean vendor not only held on to its number two position, but it also widened the gap from third-placed Motorola as its market share grew to 14.4 per cent.
Samsung is reacting quickly to the focus on touch-screen devices
Samsung increased its share to 14.4 per cent from 12.4 per cent, while Motorola fell to 10.2 per cent from 18.4 per cent.
"While sales in emerging markets continued to be driven by strong net new subscribers' growth, mature markets felt the pressure of an uncertain economic environment," said Carolina Milanesi, research director for mobile devices at Gartner.
"The biggest surprise came from LG. The South Korean vendor overtook Sony Ericsson to become the number four vendor worldwide by selling 23.6 million units and with a market share of eight per cent," she said.
Milanesi said if the development continues, LG could break into the top three by the end of this year. Motorola lost the number two spot last year to Suwon-based Samsung.
Motorola carried the problems it had in 2007 through to the first quarter and sales fell to 29.9 million units.
Sony Ericsson was another vendor that had a difficult start. Its sales reached 22.1 million units, but this was not enough to hold on to the number four spot.
"I think the second half is going to be back on track. I'm seeing minimal year-on-year growth or a flat market," she said.
Global cellphone industry volumes are set to grow 10-15 per cent this year, helped by continuing booming demand in emerging markets, she said.
Gartner had earlier forecasted 10 per cent growth in 2008.