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Global Smartphone Sales Boom By 47%

(c) Sky News 2012

More than 427m mobile phones have been sold globally in the third quarter of 2012, with smartphones sales up 47% compared to a year ago.

Market analysis firm Gartner (NYSE: IT - news) said a rapid spread of smartphones means that a total of 169m of the hi-tech gadgets were sold in the period.

Smartphones are now bought at the rate of 1.83m per day around the world.

Total (Brussels: FP.BR - news) phone sales also increased by 8m units from Q2 to Q3, however there are signs that mobile phone possession take up rates are easing as 3% fewer phones were sold compared to Q3 of 2011.

Data shows the market is still dominated by three disparate nations – South Korea's Samsung, Finland's Nokia (Stockholm: NOKI-SEK.ST - news) and the US' Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) .

Ailing Nokia, however, saw its market share drop by more than 20% in the period, falling from 23.9% in Q3 of 2011 to 19.2% in Q3 this year.

According to Gartner, in the same period Samsung's market share rose 4.2% and Apple's rose 1.6%.

Second-tier Asian makers such as China's Huawei and ZTE, and South Korea's LG (KSE: 003550.KS - news) also saw more modest growth rates in Q3.

Canada's Research In Motion (RIM) saw its share plunge 30% because of lacklustre BlackBerry models.

RIM has suffered a four-year slide in its stock price but hopes a resuscitation of its fortunes will occur with the launch of the BlackBerry 10 on January 30.

It's market share is now just 2.1%, just above Taiwanese firm HTC (Other OTC: HTCXF.PK - news) at 2%.

Motorola Mobility, owned by Google (NasdaqGS: GOOG - news) , also dropped its share from 2.5% in 2011 to 2% this year.

Meanwhile software continue to be dominated by the Google Android operating system, with 72.4% of all smartphones sold using it – up from 52.5% in 2011.

Apple's iOS trails in the software stakes with 13.9% market share, down from 15% last year.

Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT - news) 's Window phone system now stands at 2.4%, up from 1.5% in 2011, while Samsung's Bada jumped to 3% from 2.2% previously.

The big software operating system loser has been Symbian - a descendant of Britain's Psion (LSE: PON.L - news) - which dropped from 16.9% penetration to 2.6% now.