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Smartphone Sales Pick Up Steam in Q3

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The trend that began in the second quarter of 2013 in which smartphone sales outpaced feature phones for the first time continued in Q3, according to data released today by research firm Gartner (NYSE: IT  ) . In this year's third quarter, 250.2 million of the total 455.6 million mobile phones sold were smartphones, Gartner said, equal to 55%.

The gap between smartphones and features phones was only 15 million units in Q2, but rose to nearly 45 million units in the most recent quarter, according to Gartner's data. Once again, Samsung and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) led the way in smartphone sales, moving 80.36 million units and 33.3 units, respectively.

There was one notable change in smartphone sales in Q3 2013, Gartner said, as Lenovo (NASDAQOTH: LNVGY  ) replaced Korea-based LG Electronics as the No. 3 global smartphone seller, moving 12.89 million smartphones. In 2013's second quarter, LG Electronics held the third spot, followed by Lenovo.

The top manufacturers for all mobile phone sales remained identical in Q3, led by Samsung, Nokia with its 63 million phones sold, Apple, and LG Electronics, with China's ZTE rounding out the top five.

Smartphone operating system sales tracked by Gartner had the same three leading the way in the third quarter, led by Google's (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) 81.9% market share, followed by Apple's 12.1%, and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) Windows Phone's 3.6%. Both Android and Windows Phone enjoyed slight increases in Gartner's Q3 OS sales results compared to the second quarter, while Apple declined sequentially from 14.2% to the most recent quarter's 12.1%.

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