Samsung continues to be the second largest phone maker in the world. The company increased unit sales from 64.9 million to 68.8 million units, but still had to watch its market share slip by almost 2 percentage points to 16.1%. With the help of high-end smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S II and an expansion into emerging markets with touch and dual-SIM devices, which are becoming more popular, the company's forward momentum is expected to continue.
In the overall third spot LG Electronics is struggling, with a drop in both sales and market share. The company sold 24 million phones, which gave it a 5.6% market share, compared to 27.2 million and 7.6% in the first quarter of 2010.
ZTE and HTC -- which ranked in sixth and seventh in overall unit sales -- also had good first quarters.
ZTE sold 9.8 million phones, up from 6.1 million in the first three months of 2010. The phone maker's market share increased from 1.7% to 2.3%.
HTC recorded "a very strong" first quarter with 9.3 million phones sold, compared to 3.4 million a year ago, according to Gartner.
A strong high-end smartphone portfolio helped HTC perform well with all major US operators, and in the first quarter of 2011 it became the second most popular smartphone manufacturer in the region, overtaking Research In Motion, Gartner said.
HTC's worldwide overall market share expanded from 0.9% to 2.2%.
Two companies that didn't fare well during the first quarter were Motorola and Sony Ericsson, which ranked in eighth and ninth place in overall unit sales, both passed by HTC.
Motorola's sales dropped to 8.8 million from 9.6 million, and market share fell to 2.1%, compared to 2.7% last year.
Sony Ericsson's sales dropped by about 2 million phones to 7.9 million, and its market share has now shrunk to 1.9%.
Rounding out the top 10 is Huawei, which isn't doing as well as its fellow Chinese competitor ZTE. But it sold more phones than it did in last year's first quarter -- 7 million versus 5.2 million -- and its market share grew by 0.1 percentage points to 1.6%.
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