Mobile phone sales have declined by more than six per cent in the past year, according to analyst firm Gartner.
In the second quarter of this year 286 million mobile phones have been sold as the recession has suppressed replacement sales in both mature and emerging markets, said Gartner.
However, the research showed sales of smartphones surpassed the numbers sold last year by 27 per cent.
Carolina Milanesi, research director at Gartner, said: "Despite the challenging market, some devices sold well as consumers who would usually have purchased standard mid-range devices either cut back to less expensive handsets or moved up the range to get more features for their money."
Although Nokia maintained its leadership position in the mobile market, its portfolio remained skewed to low-end devices and Gartner suggested Samsung’s touchscreen devices, qwerty phones and smartphones will allow it continue to gain market share in the second half of this year to close the gap with Nokia.
Nokia currently holds 37 per cent of the mobile phone market while Samsung has 19 per cent. LG is in third place with an 11 per cent share, followed by Motorola with six per cent and Sony Ericsson with five per cent.
Gartner said Nokia had suffered in the quarter because the N97 smartphones had “met little enthusiasm”.
Milanesi pointed to Nokia selling just 500,000 of the units in the quarter since June in contrast to Apple’s iPhone 3G S, which sold one million units in its first weekend.
"The right high-end product and an increased focus on services and content are vital for Nokia if it wants to both revamp its brand and please investors with a more promising outlook," said Milanesi.
Meanwhile, Gartner said LG is expected to keep moving into lower-tier devices to drive growth in emerging markets.
Gartner said that Apple’s sales volumes have increased significantly because of the company’s expansion into more countries and the recent price adjustments on the 8GB 3G iPhone.
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