Analyst firm Gartner said Sony Ericsson slipped to fifth place in global mobile phone market share during the first quarter, overtaken by Korean vendor LG Electronics. Sony Ericsson sold 22.1 million units in the quarter to achieve a 7.5% market share, behind LG's total sales of 23.6 million units and 8% share.
Sony Ericsson's fall follows warnings from the vendor that it was experiencing weakened demand in the European mid-to-high-end device market. Only three months ago, at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in February, Sony Ericsson reiterated its intention to become the third largest handset vendor by 2011.
Nokia continued its dominance in the first quarter, growing its market share to 39.1% on sales of 115.2 million units, up from 35.5% share in the same period last year. Samsung was in second position, increasing its share from 12.4% to 14.4% on sales of 42.4 million units, while Motorola's troubles continued. The US vendor saw a sharp drop in the quarter, selling 29.9 million units to give it a market share of 10.2%, compared to 18.4% last year.
In a report from Dow Jones Newswires, Gartner forecasts worldwide mobile phone sales to continue to rise between 10 and 15% in 2008, fuelled by growth in emerging markets, but warned that the value of the market will be lower than expected. The analyst firm added that West European mobile phone sales fell 16.4% in the first quarter compared with the corresponding period a year early. This is the first fall in the region since Gartner began tracking device sales in 2001. Worldwide sales reached 294.3 million units in the first quarter, a 13.6% increase in sales over last year.