updated 11:40 pm EDT, Thu October 28, 2010
IDC has Apple take 4th in total phone ranks
Apple is now large enough to be the fourth largest phone manufacturer of any kind, IDC found tonight. A near doubling to14.1 million iPhones was enough to push it to 4.1 percent of the entire market, both ahead of RIM's BlackBerry but also long established phone makers like Motorola and Sony Ericsson, both of whom were now out of the top five. The figures included an adjustment to make sure RIM's phone sales included covered the same period to dispel RIM's doubts that Apple was being honest in saying it had outperformed its Canadian rival.
The results were also favorable to Samsung, which also gained a slight amount of share, but revealed that Nokia and LG were falling fast. Nokia was faring the worst as its share dropped to 32.4 percent, even with 110.4 million phones. LG's rapid fall was in evidence as it dropped from 10.6 percent just a year ago to 8.3 percent today, a drop that it has already pinned on a weak smartphone lineup.
Android and the iPhone were the primary factors in smartphone growth around the world. North America was one of the most heated areas with competition from HTC and Motorola challenging iPhone sales, but Google also had an effect in Western Europe through HTC and Samsung while Latin America also had help from Motorola's cheaper Android phones, like the Backflip and the original Milestone (Droid). Asia and the Pacfic was relatively slow owing to lower incomes through much of the area, although Samsung thrived in its native Korea. Apple's inroads into Japan were somewhat muted as most growth still belonged to domestic phone designers.
The future was estimated to play directly into the hands of companies like Apple, Google and RIM, since smartphones are now thought to be driving growth through to at least 2014; it may grow by 55 percent through just the next year alone, IDC said.