Cell Phone Sales Dip In 2Q

Traditional cell phone sales are down 6%, but the smartphone market is still growing, according to Gartner.
Worldwide cell phone sales dipped 6.1% for the second quarter, but smartphones continue to sell well, according to a report from Gartner.

The report said the global recession is affecting demand in both mature and emerging markets, but smartphones are still seeing strong growth. For the second quarter, smartphones surpassed 40 million sales, a 27% increase from the same period a year ago.

Nokia remains the leader in smartphone sales with 45% of the market, but Gartner said its overall portfolio is still reliant on low-end devices. The company's flagship device, the N97, has not been as successful as Nokia would have liked, as Gartner said it has sold about 500,000 units since its June debut. By contrast, Apple's iPhone 3GS sold more than a million units during its launch weekend.

"The right high-end product and an increased focus on services and content are vital for Nokia if it wants to both revamp its brand and please investors with a more promising outlook in average selling prices and margins," said Carolina Milanesi, research director at Gartner, in a statement.

Research In Motion claimed the second spot with 18.7% of the market, and the BlackBerry maker continues to gain market share. Once the exclusive domain of the mobile professional, BlackBerry smartphones are catching on with the casual market with devices like the Storm and Curve 8900. The company said more than 45% of its approximately 28.5 million BlackBerry subscribers are non-enterprise users.

Apple captured the third spot with 13.3% of the market, and the company's iPhone lineup continues to sell well. The iPhone 3GS was launched near the end of the second quarter, and Gartner said its impact won't be fully felt until the second half of 2009. The company could see massive sales increases if it can get the device into big new markets like China.

HTC was in fourth place, but Gartner only counted smartphones that had the HTC logo on them even though the company makes handsets for companies like Sony Ericsson. HTC is followed by Fujitsu in the smartphone rankings.

Overall, Nokia is selling the most cell phones, and they're followed by Samsung, LG Electronics, Motorola, and Sony Ericsson.

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