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Gartner notes healthy appetite for smart phones

Posted: 11 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smart phones? sales global Q1? touch screens?

Gartner Inc. reports that global smart phone sales for Q1 08 reached 32.2 million units, up 29.3 percent from last year.

"Smart phone growth was driven by replacement markets such as Europe, and smart phone sales also benefited from continued growth in the U.S. market, which increased its regional share to almost equal sales in Western Europe," said Carolina Milanesi, research director for mobile devices at Gartner. "The beginning of the year was marked by announcements regarding touch screens, smart phone usability and application integration. These key trends had already emerged in the second half of 2007, and during 2008 we can expect them to mature further and become the focus for more handset vendors and carriers as they expand their current portfolios to include more open-platform devices."

By region, North American Q1 sales of smart phones totalled 7.3 million units, soaring 106.2 percent from the same period last year. Sales in Europe, Middles East and Africa (EMEA) meanwhile stood at 11.7 million unit, up 38.7 percent.

By vendor, Nokia commanded over 45 percent of the global smart phone market, with sales up 25 percent year-over-year. According to Gartner, Nokia continued to maintain its leadership in EMEA, Asia/Pacific and Latin America due to the variety of its smart phone portfolio, which includes a number of both high-end and mid-tier models available at different price points. Research in Motion on the other hand held onto second place in the global vendor rankings and improved its share to 13.4 percent. RIM's sales volume has been driven by sales of its prosumer/consumer-focused devices, the BlackBerry Curve and Pearl. In the U.S. market, RIM maintained its No. 1 ranking with its share totalling 42 percent.

As for Apple, the company moved into the third spot in the global smart phone market with 5.3 percent share. It sold 1.72 million units in the quarter. In the U.S., Apple became the No. 2 vendor in smart phone sales with its market share reaching with 20 percent.

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