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1 Billion Mobile Phones Sold Worldwide In 2007

One billion mobile phones were sold worldwide in 2007, according to a report by Gartner, with 435 million of them sporting the Nokia brand name.

This is the first time mobile phone sales have passed the billion unit mark in a single calendar year, with the largest engine of sales growth coming from China and India, as these emerging markets tap into an apparent societal need in emerging markets.

Samsung, Sony Ericsson and LG all increased their market share to the detriment of Motorola, which lost its second-place market position to Samsung during the fourth quarter.

Total sales actually surpassed 1.15 billion units in 2007, a 16 percent increase from 2006 sales of 990.9 million, according to the market research firm.

While emerging markets account for much of the growth, it's the North American market that Nokia is focusing on to expand its dominant market share, which surpassed 40 percent for the first time this past quarter.

Gartner, however, suggests that Nokia will have to improve its lineup to include touch-screen models if it wants to stay competitive. Apple's iPhone has captured that American consumer's interest and seems to be influencing how other companies plan their product offerings.

Palm, for example, has had touchscreen models for a long time now, but its Centro model is the first decent effort the company has made to compete in the "stylish" category that Apple pretty much owns.

While Nokia has had a tough time cracking the U.S. market, Motorola's troubles may spell opportunity for the Finnish company.


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