Latest figures show Nokia is still top handset manufacturer

Over 1.2bn mobile phones sold in 2009

More than 1.2 billion mobile phones were sold globally last year, according to the latest research from analyst firm Gartner.

The figures are 0.9 per cent on 2008, but the fourth quarter of 2009 saw an 8.3 per cent year-on-year rise to 340 million handset sales.

"The mobile devices market finished on a very positive note, driven by growth in smartphones and low-end devices," says research director Carolina Milanesi.

Nokia remained top with nearly 441 million handset sales in 2009, taking a market share of 36.4 per cent – down from 38.6 per cent in 2008.

Second and third placed Samsung and LG both gained market share – to 19.5 per cent and 10.1 per cent respectively – while fourth and fifth placed Motorola and Sony Ericsson both declined to 4.8 per cent and 4.5 per cent respectively.

Gartner has also number-crunched smartphone sales for the year, revealing that more than 172 million smartphones were sold during 2009.

Symbian is still the largest smartphone OS with a 46.9 per cent share of those sales, but that fell from a market share of 52.4 per cent in 2008.

"Symbian had become uncompetitive in recent years, but its market share, particularly on Nokia devices, is still strong," said principal research analyst Roberta Cozza. "If Symbian can use this momentum, it could return to positive growth."

BlackBerry took a 19.9 per cent smartphone market share in 2009 – up from 16.6 per cent in 2008 – while iPhone grew from 8.2 per cent to 14.4 per cent in the same period.

Windows Mobile slipped from 11.8 per cent to 8.7 per cent, but Android is on the charge, taking a market share of 3.9 per cent in 2009, up from 0.5 per cent in 2008.

"Android’s success experienced in the fourth quarter of 2009 should continue into 2010 as more manufacturers launch Android products, but some CSPs and manufacturers have expressed growing concern about Google’s intentions in the mobile market," said Cozza. "If such concerns cause manufacturers to change their product strategies or CSPs to change which devices they stock, this might hinder Android’s growth in 2010."

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