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Nokia, Motorola regain market share

Strong demand for new handsets helped the top mobile phone makers reclaim market share in the third quarter, which they had lost to Asian vendors in the first quarter, a report says.

Leading makers of mobile phones that had lost market share in the first quarter of 2003 have regained the field in the third quarter, according to data IDC released Wednesday.

The combined market share of Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Siemens and LG Electronics dipped to 71.4 percent in the first quarter of 2003, from 77.3 percent in the last quarter of 2002. IDC said the companies have recaptured lost market share, rising to 76.6 percent in the third quarter of 2003. Individually, the companies registered quarter-to-quarter growth for the first time this year, the report said.

"Consumer demand continued to build across all market segments in the third quarter, driving healthy performances for the top five vendors," IDC analyst David Linsalata said in a statement. "The proliferation of camera phones and color phones into the worldwide market continues to spark consumer interest in new handsets and spur the mobile phone market to higher growth."

Nokia kept the top spot in the third quarter, but its market share shrunk by just less than a percent to 35 percent. After a drop in shipments by more than 5 percent in the last quarter, Motorola notched up roughly a 28 percent sequential increase in shipments, taking its market share up to 15.5 percent.

The report attributed Samsung's growth, from 10.5 percent to 11.5 percent in the last quarter, to strong demand for its high-end handsets. Siemens and LG Electronics rounded out the top five, with an 8.7 percent and 5.8 percent market share, respectively.

LG Electronics, on the strength of its CDMA (code division multiple access) and GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) shipments overseas, regained the No. 5 spot from Sony Ericsson.

IDC said globally, the mobile phone market shipments grew by 21.2 percent, year-over-year, in the third quarter.

An earlier study by research firm Strategy Analytics predicted that 492 million cell phones would be sold in 2003.