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Global Sales Of Mobile Phones Up 21.5%, But Motorola Loses Market Share

Motorola lost ground to Nokia and Samsung, as sales of the Kzr phone proved disappointing.

Mobile phone maker Motorola lost market share in some regions of the globe in the third quarter, as its new Krzr phone struggled to meet expectations, a market researcher said Wednesday.

Overall, global sales of mobile phones increased 21.5 percent from a year ago to 251 million units, Gartner said. The strong quarter led the research firm to up its forecast for the year to 986 million units. For the fourth quarter, Gartner expects sales to hit 281 million units.

Nokia held its No. 1 position with 35.1 percent of the market, gaining 2.6 percent from the third quarter last year. Nokia upped its market share in all regions, except North America, toppling Motorola from the No. 1 spot in Latin America.

Motorola also fell from its No. 2 position in Western Europe and in the Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa region. Motorola's troubles stemmed from the failure of the new Krzr to gain the same popularity as the company's Razr model, Gartner said. Motorola's new Motofone could help, but it may not be available until 2007.

Samsung replaced Motorola as No. 2 in both regions thanks to products such as the D900 and E900, Gartner said. "Samsung has won consumers back thanks to finding a more personal approach to design and features and by embracing the trend for slim devices," Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi said in a statement.

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