At the beginning of this year, phone sales were set to increase worldwide a very respectable 11% according to Gartner.

But, come October, analysts everywhere were slashing their forecasts to reflect the world economic downturn.

Gartner, however, was still optimistic.

Analyst Roberta Cozza said at the beginning of this month: "Wider availability of new touch smartphone models together with the global introduction of the iPhone 3G will help sales of smartphones return to stronger growth in the third quarter of 2008".

But now it seems things aren't so rosy.

Third quarter growth in phone sales worldwide was non existent.

It was only Samsung that gained any market share and that was through price cuts.

Overall the market was stagnant, but in some key European markets sales actually fell on previous quarters.

"Consumer demand is slowing in developed markets. I am a little worried the Christmas sales there will be a little bit of this and that", eQ Bank analyst Jari Honko told Reuters.