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Global smartphone growth driven by U.S.

The number of smartphones sold to end-users globally rose by 29% on-year to 32.2 million in the first quarter of this year, with handset giant Nokia growing faster than the market, according to new statistics published by Gartner.

The analyst firm reported that smartphones accounted for 11% of the global mobile device market in Q1.

Sales in EMEA reached 11.7 million units during the quarter, up 38.7%, while smartphone sales in North America rose by a massive 106.2% to 7.3 million units.

On a global basis, Nokia claims a 45% share of the smartphone market, recording growth of 25% in Q1. The Finnish vendor is the market leader in most markets, with the exception of the U.S., where number two player worldwide RIM is a more popular choice. The BlackBerry maker is hot on Nokia's heels globally though, with 1 42% market share.

And - heaven forbid we fail to mention the iPhone in a blog post - Apple comes in at number three globally with a 5.3% share, having sold 1.72 million handsets. The iPhone has a sizeable 20% of the U.S. smartphone market.

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