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Nokia holds on to top spot

The handset maker stems earlier slips in market share by cutting prices, as Korean giants close in.

Handset maker Nokia shipped 51.4 million units in the third quarter of 2004 to retain its top position in the global cell phone market, a study has shown.

A total of 165 million cell phones shipped in the quarter, inching closer to In-Stat/MDR's global shipments forecast of 653 million for the year, the market researcher said Tuesday.

Nokia's 31.2 percent market share remained unchanged from a year ago, an improvement over the last quarter, when it saw its share slip.

While the Finnish telecom giant's price-cutting strategy paid off in western Europe, it lost some ground in North America and Latin America to Korean companies Samsung and LG, In-Stat/MDR said.

Motorola marginally gained in market share to 14.1 percent from 13.9 percent a year ago, with 22.3 million shipments. However, it was given a run for its money by Samsung, which increased its market share to 13.8 percent from 10.3 percent a year ago. Samsung's midtier clamshell phones with color displays and integrated digital cameras helped bolster the company's gains.

Meanwhile, LG passed Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications to garner the fifth position in market share. LG shipped 11.8 million phones in the third quarter, compared with 10.7 million units by Sony Ericsson.