Brazilian mobile operator Telecom Americas (Claro) which is backed by Mexico’s America Movil, said sales of so-called ‘smartphones’ doubled in the first half of this year compared to 1H08, according to Claro’s value added services (VAS) manager Decio Farias as quoted by BNamericas. The strong performance outstrips the regional average of a 12.7% year-on-year rise in smartphone sales in 1Q09 as per Frost & Sullivan estimates. Farias reportedly declined to disclose what proportion of Claro’s smartphone sales had gone to 2G users compared to 3G accounts, or what overall percentage of its clients are known to be using smartphones. However, he did confirm that the firm has experienced a significant rise in data traffic revenues, driven by strong demand for downloads, messaging and internet access. Claro, which has more than 39.6 million users, offers 20 smartphone models, including brands such as BlackBerry, Intellisync and iPhone.