Nokia Leads World Mobile Growth

Sales of mobile phones rose nearly a quarter to 251 million units during Q3 this year with Nokia leading the way capturing 35.1 percent of the market, and just under a billion units expected by the end of 2006.

Worldwide mobile phone sales reached 251 million units in the third quarter of 2006, a 21.5 per cent increase from the same period last year, according to the Gartner Institute.

Nokia was the world’s leading provider of mobile telephones, capturing 35.1 percent of the market after 32.5 percent in the same period last year, a study by the Gartner institute has revealed.

US giants Motorola was in second place, with market share of 20.6 percent, up from 18.7 percent a year earlier.

Samsung saw its share of the world market fall to 12.2 percent from 12.5 in third quarter 2005.

New research shows that third-quarter mobile sales in Asia/Pacific, especially India and China, rose dramatically and drove overall growth upwards. Asia/Pacific was the fastest growing region this quarter.

"Although sales of replacement handsets during the third quarter in the more mature markets were not as buoyant as we have been accustomed to, they were offset by continuing momentum in sales to first-time buyers in emerging markets, " said Carolina Milanesi, principal analyst for mobile terminals research at Gartner.

"We have also started to see increasing sales of replacement models in some emerging markets, which helped push total sales in the third quarter."

Milanesi noted that Sony Ericsson had an "exceptional quarter" selling 19.4 million units.

"Sony Ericsson’s success was a result of building a wider portfolio of successful products rather than counting on a single product. It also focused on better planning to avoid the supply problems that have limited its potential in the past," she said.

As a result of the strong quarter, Gartner raised its mobile phone sales forecast to 986 million units in 2006, with 281 million units in the fourth quarter of 2006.