Samsung has unseated Motorola from its throne as the leading mobile phone vendor in the U.S. In the third quarter, Samsung led with 22.4 percent of mobile phones in the U.S. while Motorola carried 21.1 percent, down from 32.7 percent a year ago. LG Electronics was in the third slot with 20.5 percent of the market. Nokia is the leading cell phone vendor globally, with a worldwide market share of 38 percent. In the U.S., Nokia has about 8.4 percent, a decline from last year.
Motorola, which had been the leading vendor since 2004, is heading into 2009 with a dark cloud over its mobile handset business, which has become a drag on the company. Last month, Motorola warned its fourth-quarter results would miss expectations and said its struggling mobile phone business would weaken further in the first half of 2009. The handset division is also expected to be hit with about 3,000 layoffs.
Sanjay Jha, who was named the new CEO of the company's mobile devices business this summer, said Motorola will focus on three mobile platforms - Google's Android for mid- and high-end phones, Windows Mobile for some smartphones and a proprietary OS for low-end phones. Android phones aren't expected until next Christmas.