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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 February 2006, 10:33 GMT
Nokia's market share back at 35%
Nokia phone screen
Cheaper versions for emerging markets have bolstered sales
Finland's mobile phone maker Nokia has reaffirmed its position at the top of the global handset sales league, with a 35% market share, a survey says.

In the final quarter of last year, Nokia's share rose from 33% on an annual basis, according to market research group Gartner.

Its share is almost twice as big as the next biggest contender, Motorola.

Nokia took almost two years to recover ground lost in 2004 after failing to launch popular folding models.

Motorola had 17.8%, up from 16.3%, on the back of the launch of its popular Razr thin phone and cheaper models for emerging markets.


LG Electronics' market share went up to 7.2% from 6.8% and is expected to enjoy a further boost this year, now that Vodafone has decided to start selling the brand.

Sony Ericsson's share rose to 6.9% from 6.3%, thanks to increasing sales of its Walkman and camera phones.

The only one of the top five vendors to lose market share was Samsung, which saw its slice of the market edge lower to 12.1% from 12.2%.

Gartner said Nokia can now take its ambition to take 40% of the market much more seriously.

"I think its still a hard target to get, but it looks definitively more possible now than when they were talking about it a year ago," said analyst Caroline Milanesi.

The Finnish firm's comeback was partly fuelled by booming demand for very cheap phones from emerging economies, as well as its move away from its traditional stick phone format.

Nokia's highest ever market share was in 2002, when it reached 35.8% for the year. Its highest in a single quarter was 36.9%.

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