Handset vendors shipped 258 million handsets by the end of the quarter, representing an 11% year-on-year decline, ABI research said.
But the result exceeded ABI's forecast of 253.5 million, said president Jake Saunders. “Green shoots are sprouting,” he said.
Nokia and Sony Ericsson showed the largest contractions in market share, with Nokia's slumping to 36.2% and Sony Ericsson's to 5.6%.
Samsung, LG and RIM performed the most strongly during the quarter, increasing their respective market shares to 18.8%, 8.8% and 3%.
While the iPhone has been popular, Apple's market share stands at just 1.5%, but the rumored impending launch of new iPhone versions will help Apple increase this, ABI said.
ABI now expects sales to improve quarter-on-quarter in Q2, but decline 10% year-on-year as the second quarter 2008 was a strong quarter for the industry. ABI also revised its prediction for the full year upwards from an 8.4% decline to 8%.