Sony Ericsson today said it has increased its share of the global handset market, in line with its plans to become one of the top three handset manufacturers. The company, currently the world’s number four mobile phone maker, used its Q4 earnings report today to state that phones shipped in the quarter rose 18 percent to 30.8 million from a year earlier. The company claims it gained two percentage points of market share in 2007, taking its share up to slightly more than 9 percent. Market leader Nokia is top, followed by Samsung and Motorola. “Our target remains to become one of the top three players in the industry, and the momentum we established in 2006 and 2007 makes this a realistic and achievable ambition,” new President Dick Komiyama said in a statement. The company said it earned pretax profit of €501 million, little changed from €502 million a year earlier but better than an average forecast of €459 in a Reuters survey.

Meanwhile rival Samsung today reported mobile phone sales of 46.3 million units in the fourth quarter, up 41 percent from the year-earlier period. For the full year 2007, sales increased 42 percent to 161 million phones. For the fourth quarter, Samsung’s telecom division reported sales up 6 percent from Q3 to KRW 5.37 trillion, with handset sales also up 6 percent to KRW 5.07 trillion. Full-year sales for the division rose 7 percent to KRW 19.55 trillion. Quarterly operating profit dipped 1 percent from Q3 to KRW 0.58 trillion, but was up 22 percent for the year to KRW 2.12 trillion.