SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Worldwide shipments of mobile phones reached a record 242 million units in the fourth quarter, surpassing the previous peak of 200 million units during the 2004 holiday quarter, according to research firm iSuppli Corp.
For all of 2005, 813 million units were shipped, up 14 percent from 713 million in 2004.
Finland-based Nokia Corp. led the pack, grabbing a 32 percent share of the market, followed by Motorola Inc. at 18 percent, according to iSuppli. Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics Inc. and Sony Ericsson, respectively, rounded out the top five.
Siemens AG's mobile phone unit, acquired last year by BenQ Corp., ranked fourth in 2004 with a 6.9 percent share but fell to sixth place in 2005 at 4.7 percent.
During 2005, both Nokia and Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola posted strong gains in share at the expense of smaller, lesser known rivals.
Nokia benefited from offering low-cost phones and introducing cutting-edge models, while Motorola's success was driven by the popularity of its thin, RAZR phone, said Scott Smyser, a director and principal analyst at iSuppli.
The data ``indicates the mobile-phone market is becoming increasingly competitive, and only the big and strong (manufacturers) can survive,'' Smyser said.