SAN JOSE, Calif. - Propelled by a new breed of camera-equipped phones, worldwide shipments of mobile handsets grew by more than 16 percent in the first quarter of 2003, according to market research released Wednesday.
Shipments increased to 107.6 million units from 92 million units in the year-ago quarter, suggesting the handset industry is in for a "solid year," said Ross Sealfon, analyst with market research firm International Data Corp.
"The new functionalities - the color displays and digital imaging - are encouraging people to purchase new phones," he said.
So-called smartphones that handle data as well as voice transmissions are also beginning to take hold. Shipments of such devices quadrupled from the year-ago quarter to 1.7 million units, International Data reported.
Nokia Corp. remained the top mobile phone vendor, claiming 35.5 percent of global market share. The Finland-based company shipped more than 38 million units - more than double its closest competitor, Motorola Inc.
Motorola had a 15.5 percent share, followed by Samsung Electronics Co. with 12.3 percent and Siemens AG with 7.4 percent. With a 5.2 percent share, LG Electronics replaced Sony Ericsson as the world's fifth largest handset vendor.