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Samsung Tops Smartphone Sales: Gartner

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - According to the industry experts at Gartner, overall cell phone sales were down worldwide during the third quarter, but smartphone sales continue to rise. That's good news for industry leader Samsung, but not so great for Nokia (NOK - Get Report) and its legacy lines of "feature" phones.

Samsung has now taken over the number one spot with 22.9% of worldwide sales, up 4 percentage points from the same period last year. Nokia is now in second place with 19.2%. Apple (AAPL - Get Report) takes over the number three spot with 5.5%, up from 3.9% in the third quarter of 2011.

Number four, China's ZTE, saw increased market share with 3.9%, while Korea's LG Electronics suffered a drop in sales but remains in fifth place with 3.3% (down from last year's third-place showing of 4.8%).

Rounding out this quarter's top ten are Huawei (2.8%), China's TCL (2.2%), Research in Motion (RIMM) (2.1%), Motorola, a division of Google (GOOG) (2.0%) and HTC (2.0%). All other manufacturers account for the remaining 34.1% of cell phone handset sales.

As for sales of units by operating system, Google widened its lead this past quarter. Android sales now account for a whopping 72.4% of all smartphone sales - up from 52.5% just one year ago. Apple's iOS is in second place with 13.9%, down from 15% last year. Research in Motion's Blackberry OS dropped from 11% to 5.3% in the third quarter, followed by Samsung's other smartphone platform, Bada (3.0%), Symbian (2.6%, down from 16.9%) and Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) Windows Phones (up from 1.5% to 2.4%) rounding out Gartner's list.

Overall, Gartner reports that nearly 170 million smartphones were sold worldwide during this year's third quarter.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com

Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.

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