Smartphone sales on the rise

Once upon a time, in a not-too-distant past, we simply wanted a mobile phone that made calls, fired off SMS messages and for the time we hung around bus and train stations, played the odd pixel-based game. That was before the dawn of the smartphone.

The smartphone ushered in an era of having everything in your pocket, from email and the web to 'proper' games and apps. According to new data from market research comapny Gartner, we just can't get enough of them in 2010.

The company's latest figures cite a 49 per cent rise in sales in the first quarter of 2010, compared to an overall rise of 17 per cent for mobile phones. Which pretty much shows where our money is currently going. So how many smartphones have been shifted? A mind-boggling 54 million would you believe.

All of which is good news for the big players in the market. Apple, which is likely to boost its figures with a new model next month, has already doubled its figures for the iPhone year-on-year, while Google's Android smartphone operating system continues to impress, outperforming Microsoft's OS for the first time. RIM's BlackBerry is also gaining sales from its crossover from business to pleasure, increasing sales by 46 per cent. But pity poor Nokia - its Symbian OS stays in the global number one spot, but the overall market share declined from 49 to 44 per cent between 2009 and 2010.

Commenting on the figures, Carolina Milanesi, research vice-president at Gartner, said: 'Growth came partly from new communication service providers in established markets, such as the UK, and stronger sales in new markets such as China and South Korea.' Which pretty much means we're all buying into the smartphone, wherever we are.

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