Strong demand for smartphones gave a further boost to overall cellphone market volumes in January-March and made iPhone supplier Apple Inc a rare winner on the market. Apple’s iPhone sales more than doubled from a year ago, buoyed by strong sales on Verizon Wireless and additional carrier deals elsewhere, with market share rising to 5 percent.
The iPhone once again sold particularly well in developed economic regions of the world, such as North America and western Europe. Apple is now within striking distance of LG, which had a 6.6 percent market share in the quarter. Nokia’s share dropped to 29 percent from 35 percent a year ago while Samsung slipped to 19 percent.
Blackberry-maker Research In Motion Ltd benefited from the smartphone boom in the quarter, winning market share, but warned late on Thursday its quarterly sales would miss earlier forecasts. The Canadian group is in a transition period as it revamps its product line and launches its first tablet computer.
Separately Strategy Analytics estimated handset shipments grew 17 percent from a year ago, driven by surging smartphone demand in mature regions and increasingly popular models with multiple SIM cards in emerging markets.