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Credit crunch bites into mobile sales

Handset sales continue to soar

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Global mobile phone sales will exceed 1.2bn handsets this year, although tough economic conditions are already biting into phone sales, market watcher Gartner has warned.

The analyst discovered that approximately 305m handsets were sold worldwide during Q2 - some 86m of them into Europe and North America - up just 3.7 per cent from 294m handsets shipped in the previous quarter and a 12 per cent increase over the same period in 2007.

Despite the growth, Carolina Milanesi, research director for mobile devices at Gartner, said the current economic environment has negatively impacted mobile phones sales in both mature and emerging markets.

“Consumers in mature markets continued to favour mid-tier devices over high-end devices,” she said. “Replacement sales remained weak [during Q2], as consumers faced higher prices for fuel and food.”

Nokia led the second quarter with mobile sales of around 120m phones. This gave it a 39.5 per cent share of the market, up slightly from the 36.7 per cent share it had during the same period last year.

Samsung followed Nokia with sales of roughly 46m handsets, which saw its market share rise from 13.3 per cent to 15.2 per cent during the second quarter of 2008.

In third place came Motorola with phone sales of around 30m, and a market share of ten per cent. However, Motorola saw its Q2 share drop from 14.5 per cent in same period last year.

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