Mobile Phone Sales Explode: Five Findings

The smartphone boom is in full swing, with twice as many sales last quarter as in the same period last year, according to new research from Gartner.

Gartner says worldwide mobile phone sales grew by 35 percent overall in the third quarter of 2010 (as compared to the third quarter of 2009), mainly fueled by white-box (hardware-only) phone sales in emerging markets such as India, Russia, and Africa, as well as a 96 percent increase in smartphone sales. It's a gold rush right now, with plenty of winners and losers--let's take a look at five of the big takeaways from :

It's a good time to be a Droid

Anyone who's been following the smartphone market knows Android has been . The rate at which Android has gobbled up market share, however, surprises even Gartner--just a year ago, the firm predicted that Android would be the , and account for 18 percent of all global sales. Android surpassed expectations, though--in the third quarter of 2010, 25.5 percent of all smartphones sold were Droids.

Market share isn't everything

Larger market share generally means more brand recognition and popularity--but it can be a misleading measure of how certain phones are doing. While Apple lost 0.4 percent of the market over the last year, it sold twice as many phones. Research in Motion (RIM) lost 5.9 percent of the market, but continues to gain subscribers . Symbian, on the other hand, saw the second-largest sales increase of any smartphone OS--more than 11 million units sold--but still lost 8 percent o the total market share.