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Mobile phones endure worst ever quarterly sales

After six years of growth, the global mobile phone market suffered its worst quarter ever in Q1 of 2009. Sales went down 9.4 %, announced Gartner research group on Wednesday, forecasting a continued drop.

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AFP - Global mobile phone sales fell a record 9.4 percent in the first quarter to 269 million units and will likely decline 4.2 percent for the full year, the Gartner research group said Wednesday.

The anticipated fall comes after more than six years of uninterrupted growth.

However, sales of "smartphones," which enable a user to surf the Internet or watch video, rose 12.7 percent in the first quarter to 36.4 million units.

Smartphones accounted for 13.5 percent of mobile phone sales in the first quarter against 11 percent in the same period last year, according to Gartner.

Nokia of Finland held on to its first place ranking, with sales of 97 million mobile phones but saw its market share fall to 36.2 percent from 39.1 percent in first quarter 2008.

Samsung of South Korea, in second place, had a 19.1 percent share, up from 14.4 percent, thanks to a 21.4 percent gain in sales.

Motorola of the United States suffered a near 45 percent fall in sales in the first quarter and lost its third place position to LG of South Korea.

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