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Rapid Increase of Smartphone Shipments

More than 55 million smartphones shipped globally in the first quarter, with iPhone shipments rising slightly from the previous quarter, from 8.7 million to 8.8 million, according to ABI Research.

Overall, the number of smartphones shipped actually declined by about 1 million, from 56 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, following a natural tendency for first quarters to be lower than fourth quarters, ABI said. But the 55 million shipped in the first quarter was an indication of "dynamic growth," considering that a greater decline would normally be expected, said ABI analyst Michael Morgan.

Globally, smartphone shipments in the first quarter of 2009 were 38.9 million, ABI said.

Part of the strong growth was due to less expensive smartphones entering the market, including Nokia's C and X series models. Nokia, like Apple with the iPhone, saw shipments rise in the first quarter to 21.5 million units, up from 20.8 million in the fourth quarter.

The iPhone's success resulted from strong performance in markets such as Japan and China, Morgan said. ABI didn't release data for other manufacturers.

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