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Smartphone Sales Surged In First Quarter

While unit sales remain small, smartphone sales increased by almost 86 percent in the last year, according to a study released Thursday by IDC.

"The market for converged mobile devices, or 'smartphones,' demonstrated strong growth potential as both enterprises and consumers continue to show interest in improved devices combining data and telephony capabilities," David Linsalataan , analyst in IDC's Mobile Devices program, said in a statement.

The findings are part of an overall IDC survey of mobile device shipments in the first quarter of 2004. As has been the case previously, Nokia was the leading smartphone vendor, with shipments of about 1.4 million units in the quarter. That gave Nokia a 41.7 percent market share among smartphone vendors.

Research In Motion was the second-leading smartphone vendor with unit sales of about 426,000 and Motorola was in third place with sales of about 411,000. Each of those two vendors had market shares of between 12 and 13 percent, the survey found.

Overall mobile phone sales increased by 29.3 percent in the first quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago, with overall sales of 152.7 million units. Nokia remains the market share leader for mobile phones overall, but as confirmed by other studies, its overall position is eroding. Its sales increased 17.2 percent in the quarter compared to the previous year but dropped 19.2 percent from the previous quarter, the study showed. It had a 29.3 percent market share worldwide at the end of the first quarter.

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