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Touchscreen demand hurt Nokia in Q3, says analyst

Rocketing iPhone, Blackberry growth

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Nokia smartphone sales fell during Q3, marking the phone giant's first global smartphone sales decline, market watcher Gartner said.

The analyst said that Nokia’s lack of a commercial touchscreen device in its smartphone portfolio had prevented the manufacturer from attracting touchscreen-hungry customers.

Nokia’s quarterly unit shipments fell 3.1 per cent year on year. Its market share declined from 48.7 per cent in Q3 2007 to 42.4 per cent this time around.

The Finnish handset firm still retained the number one sales spot for smartphones, with sales of 15,472 units in Q3, down from 15,964 in Q3 2007.

Apple was the real smartphone star, with unit shipments up over 327 per cent. Its market share rose from 3.4 per cent in Q3 2007 to 12.9 per cent in Q3 2008, and the firm took third place in the smartphone chart, with sales of 4720 iPhones.

BlackBerry maker RIM took second place, with sales of 5800 units and an overall unit shipments growth of 81.7 per cent. The firm’s market share rose from 9.7 per cent in Q3 2007 to 15.9 this time around.

HTC recorded a comparatively modest 25.9 per cent unit growth between the respective quarters, with sales of 1656 devices during Q3. However, its market share only increased by half a percentage point in Q3, up from four per cent at the same point last year.

Apple’s iPhone success also saw the Mac OS X growth rate rocket 327.5 per cent, putting it in third place. For the first time, the OS eclipsed sales of Windows Mobile-equipped smartphones, which dropped from 4180 in Q3 2007 to 4053 in Q3 this year.

Unit-shipment growth declined 12 per cent for Nokia’s OS baby, Symbian, but it was still the most popular smartphone operating system, shipping in 18,179 phones in Q3, down from 20,664 in Q3 2007.

RIM came in second place, with growth of 81.7 per cent.

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