Strategy Analytics has released their study of mobile phone sales for Q3 and it shows signs of recovery. According to their research, a total of 291 million handsets were shipped in the quarter which was down by 4% compared to the previous year. Nonetheless, this still bests the average decline of 11% in the previous two quarters of this year.

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As far as the top movers in the quarter are concerned, Nokia still managed to ship more devices than the rest accounting for 37.3% (108.5M) of phone sales in Q3. Samsung and LG continue their impressive rally with 20.7% (60.2M) and 10.9% (31.6M) respectively. Together, the South Korean handset makers now own one third of phones across the globe. Sony Ericsson, meanwhile, overtook Motorola with 4.9% (14.1M) as opposed to the latter’s 4.7% (13.6M) share. Apple didn't make it to the top 5 with only 2.5% (7.4M) share. However, it wouldn't be impossible for them to barge into the elite group by next year especially now that the iPhone is coming to China and is no longer exclusive to a limited number carriers in certain countries.

Neil Mawston shared his thoughts on the immediate future of the handset industry.

We forecast 300 million handsets to be shipped worldwide in Q4 2009, growing 3% from 294 million units in Q4 2008. We believe this will be the first time the industry has returned to positive growth since Q3 2008, signaling an end to the handset recession after 4 quarters of decline. Consumers and handset vendors are gradually regaining a little confidence.

This should be good news for both mobile phone makers and investors alike. For the full press release, you can check it here.

[source]