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Nokia, Samsung, LG Lead Mobile Phone Growth

Mobile phone sales increased almost 15% in the second quarter, according to IDC, with Latin America and Asia Pacific projected to drive smartphone growth.

The mobile phone market continued to grow rapidly -- a 14.5% gain according to IDC -- in the second quarter, and there was great jockeying around by a host of players who led the market off in different tangents and contradictions.

While many Wall Street analysts have been writing off Research in Motion for several quarters, the maker of BlackBerry phones posted the best increase -- 40% -- among the five top selling vendors.

Another surprising development, according to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, was that smartphone growth will be primarily powered by sales in Latin American and Asia/Pacific (minus Japan).

"It's not just smartphone vendors that have driven the market forward," said IDC's Ramon Llamas in a statement. "It's also the companies with a presence among entry-level handsets and mid-range devices, which have long been the domain of the worldwide leaders."

The five top market share vendors were: Nokia with 35% share of market; Samsung, 20%; LG Electronics, 9.6%; Research In Motion, 3.5%; and Sony Ericsson, 3.5%.

"The upward pressure from vendors outside the current top five vendors, particularly Apple and Motorola, will provide tough competition in the quarters to come," said Llamas, who is senior research analyst at IDC's Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team. IDC also pointed to ZTE as an emerging player in the market, gaining market share with low-cost mobile phones.

While Apple's iPhone and several phones based on Google's Android platform have captured most of the smartphone hoopla, RIM, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson have all weighed in with competitive and well-selling smartphones.

Even Nokia, which has been losing market share lately, has a strong contender in the smartphone category.

Nokia, said IDC, "remains optimistic with the upcoming launch of the N8 smartphone, the warm reception to its C3 messaging device and continued success within key emerging markets."

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