Apple becomes third largest mobile phone maker in the world!

The superb sales record of the iPhone 4S has done it. Apple has now crossed two spots, to become the third largest phone maker in the world; only trailing behind Nokia and Samsung now. This was reported by the IDC, an analyst firm.

The holiday season was great for Apple. According to the IDC, the shipping of 37 million iPhones was a huge increase of 128 percent from last year. The iPhone 4S was the catalyst behind the whopping sales, which saw a very strong market in US and Japan.

In the IDC ranking, Nokia remained at the first position as it did last year. IDC said that the phone remained the "undisputed leader of total mobile phone shipments". Nokia managed to ship 113.5 million units in the last quarter, which was 8.2 percent lower as compared to last year's sales. Then at second position, Samsung, sold 98 million units which was a large increase from last year: 20 percent! The fourth and fifth places went to LG and ZTE and they shipped 18 and 17 million units respectively. 

Kevin Restivo, a senior research analyst at IDC said, "The introduction of high-growth products such as the iPhone 4S, which shipped in the fourth quarter, bolstered smartphone growth. Yet overall market growth fell to its lowest point since [the third quarter of 2009] when the global economic recession was in full bloom."

The trend has shifted so that smartphones are slowly gaining ground over feature phones. But are feature phones fading away? IDC believes that feature phones "are fighting to maintain their market share". This was according to Ramon Llamas, a senior research analyst at IDC. He further said, "To meet the challenge, feature phones are becoming more like smartphones, incorporating mobile Internet and third-party applications."

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