Even as total mobile phone sales fell 9.4% in the first quarter, mobile phone sales were up 12.7% in the same period, according to market researcher Gartner.
Worldwide mobile phone sales in the first quarter of 2009 are estimated at 269.1 million units, a 9.4% decrease from the first quarter of 2008.
In the same period, smartphone sales exceeded 36.4 million units, a 12.7% increase.
Gartner estimated that smartphone sales accounted for 13.5% of all mobile device sales in the first quarter of 2009, compared with 11% in the first quarter of 2008.
Apple, with its popular iPhone, was the star in the smartphone category, more than doubling its market share from 5.3% to 10.8%.
Gartner analyst Roberta Cozza said:
Much of the smartphone growth during the first quarter of 2009 was driven by touchscreen products, both in midtier and high-end devices. Touch for the sake of touchâ€™ was enough of a driver in the midtier space, but tighter integration with applications and services around music, mobile e-mail, and Internet browsing made the difference at the high end of the market.