Smartphone shipments ease off the gas pedal

From CNET Smartphone sales slowed a bit in the second quarter amid a weak global economy, but Gartner thinks that's about to change.

The worldwide market for smartphones grew 15.7 percent in the second quarter, as vendors shipped a total of 32.2 million devices. That's pretty solid, but earlier this year the market was growing at a 60 percent clip. Blame a slowing economy around the world and the development of more sophisticated "enhanced phones" running Java or Qualcomm's BREW rather than true smartphone operating systems like Symbian, Windows Mobile, or Apple's OS X, according to Gartner.

Nokia is still the market leader by a huge margin, shipping nearly half of all smartphones sold in the world during the second quarter. The company is not growing nearly as fast as its rivals, however, and lost market share; second-place RIM increased its shipment totals by 126 percent to obtain 17.4 percent market share, and HTC grew its shipments 119 percent to edge out Sharp for third place.

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