Handset manufacturers and vendors have shipped almost 300 million smartphones this quarter, according to the latest figures from ABI Research.
The market has contracted owing to the current economic climate, but not as badly as had been expected, the analyst firm said.
"The outlook for mobile handset markets continues to improve," said Jake Saunders, vice president of forecasting at ABI Research. "While the third quarter of 2009 showed a year-on-year 6.5 per cent contraction in shipments to 291 million, 2009 should close out with only a four to five per cent contraction to 1,138 million for the year."
Nokia's overall market share fell slightly to 37.3 per cent, while Samsung raised its share to almost 21 per cent and Apple's cut rose from 1.9 per cent to 2.5 per cent.
"ABI Research does not expect any slowdown in Apple's market share growth," the firm said.
One relatively new entrant in the mobile phone software market is Google's Android, which ABI Research estimates could take a 10 per cent share within the next five years.
"Despite the successes of the iPhone operating system, the leading player in the smartphone operating system market is still very much Symbian with 48 per cent, followed by BlackBerry with 18 per cent," said ABI Research practice director Kevin Burden. "The dark horse in all this is Android."
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