Jumping past Research in Motion (s rimm), Apple (s aapl) has entered the top five in global mobile phone sales, trailing only Nokia (s nok), Samsung, and LG. Number four may not count for much in the realm of professional sports, but it means a lot in the technology business.
Last week, TheAppleBlog discussed Apple’s climb to number two in the global smartphone battle. In a report released yesterday by research firm IDC, we learned Apple is moving up the ladder in the broader cellphone category worldwide, too.
Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC, says “The entrance of Apple to the top 5 vendor ranking underscores the increased importance of smartphones to the overall market. Moreover, the mobile phone makers that are delivering popular smartphone models are among the fastest growing firms…Vendors that aren’t developing a strong portfolio of smartphones will be challenged to maintain and grow market share in the future.”
Don’t forget that Apple has only been manufacturing phones since 2007 and, in that time, has achieved market dominance with only one or two models on sale at once. With the iPhone’s release in 17 different countries in the past quarter alone, it’s set to push that progress even further. Nokia still has a huge lead, but it is eroding.
According to IDC, Nokia dropped over 4 percentage points to 32.4 percent market-share, and LG electronics missed its shipment goal by double digits. Samsung is the only company ahead of Apple that experienced growth during the quarter.
Reception issues that spurred a product-wide free case program not only weren’t enough to slow down iPhone 4 sales, but seem to be a minor blip looked at from the vantage point of today. Apple continues to be the leader of the pack in design and product growth, despite occasional flaws and constant challenges from other strong contenders.
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