New research suggests that phone sales have not been hit by rumours of a worldwide economic slowdown.

Analysts at Strategy Analytics and IDC have published figures that show that phone makers sold 14% more handsets from January to March this year than the same period last year.

This is the fastest growth the industry has enjoyed since the end of 2006.

Neil Mawston, analyst at Strategy Analytics told Reuters: "Global handset volume continues to increase at a healthy pace. Recent annual growth rates have actually gone up, not down. Emerging markets continue to surge".

Nokia is still the world's number one with Samsung in second place.

LG has been been gaining market share, but the research suggests that Nokia and Samsung grew twice as fast as the market.

However, Motorola seems to be still struggling while Sony Ericsson saw its profits halved in the quarter and lost its fourth place spot in the market to LG.

Sony Ericsson pointed to a decrease in demand for high-end phones.

"We see that the demand on the high end has softened", Sony Ericsson sales chief Anders Runevad told a conference call, adding that consumers were becoming more cautious.

But will the cautious outlook affect sales in the coming quarter?

IDC analyst Ramon T. Llamas, stated: "Disposable income is being eroded by rising food and fuel prices and worries about global financial markets and slow economic growth are creating a cautious outlook for the months ahead".