IDC: Global mobile phone shipments tank in first quarter; Smartphones up

Worldwide mobile phone shipments fell 15.8 percent in the first quarter to 244.

Worldwide mobile phone shipments fell 15.8 percent in the first quarter to 244.8 million units. Smartphone shipments, however, were up 4 percent as carriers upped subsidies on that type of device, according to IDC. 

IDC said in a statement that the mobile phone shipment decline was "especially sharp due to weak end-user demand, currency volatility, and lack of credit for merchants as consumers and the supply chain adapt to the recession."

Given that state, carriers are more likely to push smartphones so they can at least garner revenue via data services. IDC noted that some big carriers have shifted about half of their handset lineup to smartphones. Indeed, both AT&T and Verizon. talked up data revenue and smartphones on their most recent quarterly results. 

Here's a look at the global standings:

The big takeaways:

  • Nokia slipped below 100 million units for the first time in two years;
  • Motorola market share has dropped from 9.4 percent to 6 percent in a year;
  • LG is gaining as is Samsung.