Sales of smartphones and similar devices have surged to record highs in the Asia Pacific region, new market research indicates.
More than 10.7 million smart mobile devices were shipped in the region in the first quarter, according to research firm Canalys, 10.1 million of which were smartphones. Shipments were up 40 per cent on the same period last year.
Nokia, the world's largest mobile handset vendor, dominates the market with a 46 per cent share. No other company has more than 15 per cent of the market.
"[Nokia's] success was driven largely by its Symbian S60-based Nseries consumer-oriented devices," Canalys reported.
Leading manufacturers increased their share of the market at the expense of many smaller firms. The share of shipments from manufacturers outside the top five fell from 24.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2006 to 20.9 per cent this year.
"Compared to the Americas and EMEA, the Asia-Pacific region still has relatively low smart mobile device volume coming from models positioned for professional, rather than consumer, use," said senior Canalys analyst Rachel Lashford.
Thanks in part to its huge population, Asia-Pacific is the world's largest market for smart mobile devices, accounting for 46 per cent of worldwide shipments of 23.2 million in the first quarter.
However, growth in shipments in the region could be slowing. Canalys data showed that the number of smart mobile devices shipped in the first quarter rose 40 per cent year-on-year.
This figure is still above the global average, but far below the 84 per cent growth seen in the fourth quarter of last year.
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