Q1 handset sales down 8.6pc


Worldwide mobile phone sales totalled 269.1 million units in the Q1, an 8.6 per cent decrease from first quarter sales last year, according to Gartner analysts.

Smartphone sales surpassed 36.4 million units, a 12.7 per cent increase from the same period last year.

Nokia continued to lead the market, but its share dropped to 36.2 per cent from 39.1 per cent in Q1 2008. It is the first time Nokia’s sales have dipped below 100 million since Q1 2007.

Samsung retained second place and improved its market share 14 per cent to 19 per cent as its sales totalled 51.4 million units.

LG sold 26.5 million units in Q1, growing its market share by 1.9 percentage points year on year.

After dropping to the fifth position in Q4 2008, Motorola overtook Sony Ericsson to regain fourth place, taking respective market share of 10.2 per cent and 7.5 per cent.

Smartphone sales represented 13.5 per cent of all mobile device sales in Q1, compared with 11 per cent in the first quarter of 2008. Gartner analysts said positive performance by Research In Motion (RIM) and Apple showed that services and applications were instrumental to smartphones’ success.

Symbian accounted for 49.3 per cent of worldwide smartphone operating systems (OS) market share in Q1, down from 56.9 per cent share in Q1 2008. RIM’s smartphone OS market share reached 19.9 per cent, up from 13.3 per cent share in the first quarter of last year. The iPhone OS accounted for 10.8 per cent of the market, up from 5.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2008.

Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi said: “Device vendors will focus increasingly on smartphones, improved user interfaces and services to differentiate themselves and fuel consumer demand.”