Worldwide sales of mobile devices totaled 440.5 million units in the third quarter of 2011, up by 5.6 per cent from the same period last year, according to Gartner.
Non-smartphone devices performed well, driven by demand in emerging markets for low-cost devices from white-box manufacturers and for dual-Sim models. Regions such as Asia/Pacific and the Middle East and Africa made up for a weaker performance in the Western European market and are expected to support growth over the full year, the market researcher said.
Smartphone sales to end users reached 115 million units in the third quarter, up by 42 per cent from a year earlier. Sequentially, smartphone sales slowed to seven per cent growth from the second quarter.
Smartphones accounted for 26 per cent of all mobile phone sales, growing only marginally from 25 per cent in the previous quarter. Strong smartphone growth in China and Russia helped increase overall volumes in the quarter, but demand for smartphones stalled in advanced markets such as Western Europe and the US as many users waited for new flagship devices, Gartner added.
Slowdowns also occurred in Latin America and the Middle East and Africa. Nokia continued to be the worldwide leader in mobile device sales with a 23.9 per cent market share, followed by Samsung with 17.8 per cent. However, Samsung became the world's top smartphone vendor, driven by growth in Asia and Western Europe and demand for its Galaxy handsets. Android was the leading operating system, accounting for 52.5 per cent of smartphones sold. Symbian followed with 16.9 per cent, Apple's iOS was at 15 per cent, and Research In Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry accounted for 11 per cent.