Page last updated at 14:00 GMT, Thursday, 30 April 2009 15:00 UK

Mobile sales 'in record decline'

Apple's iPhone has been defying the slump in mobile sales

Mobile phone sales have plummeted by a record amount in the first quarter of 2009 as the global financial crisis sapped demand, a research firm said.

The number of phones shipped worldwide in the first three months of the year dropped by 13% to 245 million units from the same period last year.

Strategy Analytics said all of the five biggest mobile phone-makers had drops in sales.

But Apple's iPhone defied the gloom to post a 123% annual gain in sales.

Strategy Analytics said the previous worst quarter for mobile phone sales was in the third quarter of 2001.

Massive declines

Nokia, the world's largest mobile phone maker, had a market share of 38% in the quarter. That is three percentage points less than a year earlier.

MARKET SHARE: 2009 VS 2008
Nokia: 38%, down from 41%
Samsung: 19%, up from 16%
LG: 9%, flat at 9%
Motorola: 6%, down from 10%
Sony Ericcson: 5.9%, down from 8%

Its sales dropped 19% to 115.5 million units.

Meanwhile Motorola posted sales figures of £3.7bn ($5.4bn) for the first quarter of 2009 which is down by 28% when compared to last year.

It sold 14.7 million handsets which is just over half the amount it did twelve months ago

Sales were just as bad for Sony Ericsson.

The Swedish-Japanese venture sold 14.5 million mobile phones between January and March, down 35% from the first quarter of 2008.

The company made a pre-tax loss of £319m ($467m) in that period.

Samsung sales fell 1% to 46.3 million units. And Korea's LG had a 7% drop in sales, to 24.4 million units.

The iPhone, the first phone by computing firm Apple, had sales of 3.8 million, up from 1.7 million units the previous year.

"We expect Apple to launch one or more new models in the coming months as it seeks to maintain its breakneck growth rate," Strategy Analytics said.

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