Over 100 million mobile phones have been sold worldwide in the third quarter this year.
Emerging markets and the replacement of old handsets with ones featuring colour displays have been responsible for the rise.
Sales reached a global figure of 104.3 million units, an increase of 7.8 per cent from the same period last year, according to new figures from researcher Gartner Dataquest.
The group has predicted that overall sales for the year will hit 415 million worldwide, 3 million more than the previous record set in 2000.
"This is only the second time ever that the third quarter has realised mobile terminal sales volume in excess of 100 million units," said Bryan Prohm, senior analyst at Gartner Dataquest.
"The most encouraging development was that each of the six principal geographic regions tracked recorded a sequential increase in demand," he added.
But the report had bad news for Sony Ericsson. The Swedish-Japanese joint venture only sold a touch under five million phones this last quarter, compared to 8.5 million sales last year, when they were still separate companies.
Market-leader Nokia pulled further away from the competition and notched up a market share of 35.9 per cent, selling over 37 million mobile devices last quarter. Last year the company took 34.1 per cent market share over the same quarter.
Analysts are warning that unless Sony Ericsson produces better phones it faces another tough year. Ovum research director Jeremy Green said the mobile phone market had changed, with real growth coming in at its lower end.
"When Nokia launched its latest range there were lots of high-end phones but also low-end voice-centric phones for developing-country markets," Green said. "The industry is waking up to the fact that this is where some of the growth is."
Green added that Nokia's success has been from chasing the "softer areas" of the market and finding parts of the world where growth still exists.
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