Global mobile handset sales totalled 153 million units in the first quarter of this year, up from 114 million in the corresponding period of 2003, according to research by Gartner. The record growth was attributed to strong take-up in the Asia Pacific region, most notably a massive boom over the Chinese New Year period. Finnish market leader Nokia continues to see its share of sales shrink, down to 28.9% from 34.6% the year before, whilst US-based Motorola continues to close the gap between the two, it’s share rising by 1.7% to 16.4%. South Korean manufacturer Samsung’s decision to bolster its portfolio with a number of cheaper, low-end handsets is paying dividends, with its share rising from 10.8% to 12.5%. Siemens remains the fourth-largest vendor by sales (up 0.4% to 8%), whilst SonyEricsson leapfrogged LG Electronics, with the pair finishing the quarter with a 5.6% and 5.3% share of the market respectively.