Nokia Tops in 2006 Smartphone Sales

Despite its underperformance in North America, the Finnish tech giant took 48% of market share. RIM came in second

2006 was the year of the converged device with 80 million smart phones shipped worldwide, according to analysts - and Nokia remains the unequivocal leader selling almost one in two smart mobiles.

A new report from research company IDC has found that during 2006, converged device sales rose by 42 per cent, bolstered by falling prices. Some phones are now below $200, encouraging the clever phones to spread beyond corporate users and into early adopters in the consumer market, according to the analysts.

During the year, Nokia remained top converged device vendor with market share of 48 per cent and 38 million devices shipped, despite underperforming in North America and the enterprise market, which the company hopes to counter with a number of fresh devices which debuted earlier this year.

RIM was the Finnish phone company's nearest competitor, shifting six million phones and cornering 7.5 per cent of the market.

However, the biggest expansion came from relative smart phone newbie Motorola which launched two new Windows Mobile devices earlier this month. Year on year, Motorola saw growth of more than 104 per cent, putting it in the number three position in terms of 2006 sales - shifting a total of 4.9 million devices.

As well as its Q range, Motorola has seen its smart phone presence upped with the launch of the Ming in China, which the company hopes will also prove popular in the Latin America market.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.