TOYMAKER FOR THE WELL HEALED Apple has surged into third place among mobile phone vendors thanks to its Iphone being sold in 90 countries.
Figures compiled by analyst outfit IDC reported that Apple overtook LG and became the third largest shipper of mobile phones behind Samsung and Nokia. Apple's 37 million shipments in the fourth quarter of 2011 brought its annual total to 93.2 million, a 96.2 per cent rise from 2010.
According to IDC, Apple's third place showing was fueled by widespread availability and particularly strong sales in the US and Japan. On the other hand LG saw its shipment volume decrease by 24.5 per cent over the course of 2011, significantly worse than the usual sales whipping boy, Nokia.
However, Nokia still remains in first place even after enduring yet another quarter of decreased shipments. The Finnish phone maker shipped a total of 113.5 million units in the fourth quarter, an 8.2 per cent drop from a year previously despite shipping almost 16 million more devices than second placed Samsung.
Although Apple's year on year growth was outstanding, ZTE and Samsung both posted impressive 30.9 per cent and 17.6 per cent growth, respectively. So while Apple is in third place with six per cent of the market, it had a significantly lower share than Nokia and Samsung in 2011, with the two leading firms holding 27 per cent and 21.3 per cent market share, respectively.
While Apple is a distant third the firm managed to grab six per cent of the global mobile phone market with only three smartphones. And if IDC's past market share trends continue to hold, by the end of the year Samsung could depose Nokia as the top mobile phone manufacturer. µ
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