Worldwide cell phone sales fell in the first quarter of this year, while smartphones continued to grow with Apple's iPhone more than doubling its market share from , according to a report published by Gartner Wednesday.
Smartphone sales were up 12.7 percent compared to the first quarter of 2008, but in the overall cell phone market, manufacturers sold about 269 million cell phones, which was about 14.5 percent fewer than were sold during the fourth quarter of 2008 and about 9.4 percent lower compared to the same quarter last year.
Gartner principal analyst Roberta Cozza explains that much of the growth in smartphones came directly from touchscreen devices like Apple's, though the reasons why depended on the category.
Apple iPhones jumped from 5.3 percent of the industry in early 2008 to 10.8 percent a year later. The iPhone is now the world's third-largest smartphone maker in the world and gives it twice as much share as HTC, which had just 5.4 percent of the market and grew slowly even with the launch of Android phones.
Still, Apple's arch rival Research in Motion, whose sales of more than 7.23 million Blackberries helped it achieve nearly 20% market share, and leader Nokia, which sold almost 15 million handsets for a commanding 41.2% share of the market. Rounding out the top 5 was Fujitsu after selling nearly 1.39 million devices for 3.8% share.
Although smartphones sales continue to grow, they still only make up about 13.5 percent of total mobile devices sales. Gartner analysts expect the market to improve and say most of the early recovery comes from China and North America.