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Sales of Samsung mobile phones jumped by a huge 46 percent in the second quarter, as the rebounding industry saw the top four handset makers increase shipments.

Overall, global mobile sales edged 0.8 percent higher in the April to June quarter, with 98.7 million units sold in that period, research company Dataquest said this week.

The news follows a succession of falls in mobile phone shipments for the last several quarters, and according to Dataquest the modest growth is the result of increased demand in Asia and Eastern Europe.

Industry leader Nokia held onto its massive lead over the competition as its handset shipments climbed by 5 percent to 35.1 million, giving it a 35.6 percent market share. In the year-ago quarter, the company shipped 33.4 million units to claim a 34.2 percent share of the market.

Meanwhile Motorola held onto the number two spot and shipped 15.5 million phones in the quarter, about 200,000 more than last year. This small level of growth allowed it to keep hold of its 15.7 percent market share, which was flat year-on-year.

According to Dataquest's figures, however, Samsung is hot on Motorola's heels, and the Korean firm now claims a 9.5 percent share of the mobile phone market, as its sales jumped by a whopping 46.4 percent to reach 9.3 million units in the quarter.

This compares to 6.4 million units a year earlier, which equates to just 6.5 percent market share.
Siemens also saw its share of the market grow slightly to 8.4 percent, compared with 7.4 percent last year. In the second quarter, the company shipped 8.2 million phones, 1 million more than in the second quarter of 2001.

However, the number five phone maker, Sony Ericsson, saw its unit shipments dive by almost 30 percent as its market share slipped from 7.7 percent last year to a measly 5.3 percent, shipping only 5.4 million phones in the second quarter of 2002.

Looking forward, Gartner's Dataquest said that replacement sales will be the key to boosting sales in Europe, and the launch of a flurry of new models that include cameras and colour screens could further boost sales.

Still, the industry is facing the possibility of more delays in the rollout of 3G networks, particularly in Europe, and as such the market for handsets could grow slower than previously anticipated.

For the full year, Dataquest said that sales will rise 5 percent to 420 million phones, which means that that the second half of the year will offer higher growth rates than the first half. © ENN

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