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Gartner ups phone sales estimates

STAMFORD, Conn.-Research and consulting firm Gartner said it increased its 2004 phone sales predictions to 580 million units-further evidence that the mobile-phone market is enjoying gangbuster growth.

“2003 sales surpassed industry expectations with the fourth quarter presenting a challenge to many vendors as they struggled to meet supply,” said Ben Wood, principal analyst at Gartner. “This unprecedented demand is set to continue in 2004 with the first quarter already looking strong.”

Gartner said Nokia enjoyed growth but suffered market share declines due to sustained competition and aggressive pricing from existing players. The firm said Motorola and Samsung could experience significant growth this year.

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