Worldwide mobile phone sales totaled 308.9 million units in the third quarter of 2009, a slight 0.1% from the same quarter of 2008, according to a recent report from Gartner.

Smartphone sales during the quarter surpassed 41 million units, a 12.8 per cent increase from the same period last year.

In the second quarter of 2009, mobile phone sales totaled 286 million units while smartphone sales surpassed 40 million units.

Global Mobile Phone Sales

Nokia remained the world’s top seller of mobile phones with sales of 113.5 million units; however, sales remained heavily skewed toward mid and low-end devices.

Samsung and LG both had a very strong second quarter of 2009 with sales of 60 million units and 31.9 million units, respectively. Samsung's touchscreen devices, qwerty phones and smartphones drove sales in established markets, and Gartner expects it will continue to gain market share in the final quarter of 2009 thanks to the introduction of mid-tier products such as Corby.

Smartphone Sales

Smartphone sales for the quarter totaled 41.1 million units. For the entire year, Gartner is now predicting that worldwide sales will grow by 29 per cent over 2008 to reach 180 million units in 2009.

“Smartphones continued to represent the fastest-growing segment of the mobile-devices market and we remain confident about the potential for smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2009 and in 2010,” said Carolina Milanesi, research director at Gartner.

Nokia’s share of the worldwide smartphone market reached an all time low in the third quarter of 2009 at 39 per cent, compared with 45 per cent in the second quarter of 2009 while Research In Motion reached 20 per cent share, its highest yet.

Apple’s worldwide smartphone share reached 17 per cent as iPhone sales totaled 7 million units in the third quarter of 2009 following the continued rollout of the iPhone 3GS in new countries.

In the smartphone operating system (OS) market, Android picked up momentum but with only a handful of Android devices available, its share remained modest at 3.5 per cent. Windows Mobile 6.5 only became available in October, too late to have an impact on the third quarter, so sales of Windows-based smartphones saw another decline.

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