HELSINKI Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) surpassed Motorola MOT.N in third quarter to became the largest mobile phone vendor in the United States, research firm Strategy Analytics said on Friday.
The research firm said handset sales in the United States -- largest cellphone market in the world -- defied the economic gloom and grew 6.2 percent from a year ago to 47.4 million phones in the quarter.
South Korean vendors, Samsung and LG Electronics (066570.KS), both won more of the market, controlling 22.4 percent and 20.5 percent respectively.
At the same time Motorola, who has been the top vendor at its home market since 2004, saw market share falling to 21.1 percent from 32.7 percent a year before.
Last week 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.
Still, all three in total sell less phones globally than Finland's Nokia NOK1V.HE, who leads the market in emerging markets and has a global market share of around 38 percent.
In the U.S. market Nokia saw its market share falling from a year ago to 8.4 percent -- but was still up from levels seen earlier this year.
(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Kazunori Takada)