Smartphones 55 pct of global mobile phone sales in Q3
* Q3 global smartphone sales up 46 pct from last year
* Rise driven by replacement push in China, Latin America
* Gartner sees smartphone sales of almost 1 bln units in 2013
By Harro Ten Wolde
FRANKFURT, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Smartphone sales accounted for 55 percent of global mobile sales in the third quarter as customers in China and Latin America swapped their old phones for the higher end of the range gadgets, research firm Gartner said on Thursday.
Worldwide smartphone sales rose nearly 46 percent from last year to 250.2 million units, it said, while overall mobile phone sales were up less than 6 percent at 455.6 million.
"Sales of feature phones (normal handsets) continued to decline and the decrease was more pronounced in markets where the average selling price (ASP) for feature phones was much closer to the ASP of affordable smartphones," said Gartner analyst Anshul Gupta.
He said he expected smartphone sales of just below 1 billion devices for 2013.
Samsung kept the top spot in the smartphone segment, with a 32.1 percent market share, selling 80.36 million smartphones, up from 55 million in the same quarter last year, helped by its Note 3 large display smartphone. Continued...