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Samsung, LG on the up

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Mobile phone sales grew 26 per cent in the third quarter of the year, according to Gartner, with over 167m sold. North America saw its strongest growth, with 22.6 per cent growth over the same period last year. Thanks to Brazil and Mexico, the rest of the Americas also turned in a record quarter with sales 66 per cent higher than last year. The odd man out was Japan, where sales fell 12 per cent. Punters seem to have quite enough camerphones already there, thank you.

Samsung moved ahead of Motorola to take the number two spot for the first time, edging out its rival by almost 500,000 units. This time last year Motorola sold 4.5m more phones than its Korean competitor. LG also edged out Sony Ericsson to take the number four spot by market share, behind Siemens. The German giant performed better than expected in the Americas. Meanwhile, market leader Nokia's share crept back over the 30 per cent mark, with 51.6m phones sold. Gartner reminded Nokia that it needed to strengthen its CDMA offerings.

Given their relative fortunes, almost all the handset manufacturers can view the quarter with some satisfaction. Phone adoption continues apace in developing markets, and in mature markets the public hasn't lost its appetite for trading in last year's model for something new. ®

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