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Mobile phone market stays strong

Consumer demand for the latest cell phones continues to drive the worldwide market.

A correction was made to this story. Read below for details.
Despite a slight seasonal decline, worldwide shipments of cell phones rose 26 percent in the first quarter of 2006 compared with the same period last year, according to research firm IDC.

A total of 226.7 million mobile phones were shipped, as the global market continues to thrive on consumers replacing older phones with new purchases, said a study from IDC released Thursday.

Nokia held its top spot, retaining a third of the global market share and enjoying 39.6 percent growth. Motorola posted a 60.6 percent gain for the quarter, boosted by its new Razr models, which have continued to propel sales. Motorola controlled 20.3 percent of the market in the first quarter of 2006.

Samsung, while still holding third with over 29 million phones shipped, slipped in sales with only 18.4 percent growth. It also lost market share capturing only 12.8 percent, down from 13.6 percent in the first quarter of 2005.

LG Electronics came in fourth for market share with 6.9 percent, but experienced an operating loss for the quarter due to marketing expenses and fewer sales.

Despite a midyear slowdown in 2005 that IDC attributes to the government's crackdown on import tax evasion, Russia remains one of the most important handset markets in Europe. It has continued to expand due to replacement purchases and the luxury market. Retail prices have increased as a result, mirroring the mature growth pattern of other large European markets, IDC said.


Correction: The story incorrectly stated Motorola's market share in the first quarter of 2006. It's 20.3 percent. It also incorrectly categorized Samsung's figures. Samsung lost 12.8 percent market share, down from 13.6 percent in first quarter 2005. Its growth slipped to 18.4 percent.