iPhone Smashes Records, Inches Up on Global Competitors

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Apple iPhone 4

Apple made some big gains in the global mobile phone market year-over-year, thanks to a record-breaking number of iPhone 4 shipments in the second quarter.

Although Apple maintained its number four position overall, it posted the highest growth rate of the worldwide smartphone makers, despite the fact that its flagship iPhone 4 is now more than a year old, according to market research and analysis firm IDC.

The top global five mobile phone vendors are Nokia (no. 1), Samsung (no. 2), LG Electronics (no. 3) and ZTE (no. 5), IDC said.

iPhone sales jumped a whopping 141.8 percent in the past year, while the smartphone industry as a whole grew a strong 11.3 percent.

“Apple’s ability to bring its smartphone momentum to developing economies where it’s less successful will help dictate the company’s smartphone fortunes in future,” IDC said in a statement.

Nokia’s hold on the top global mobile phone spot weakened last quarter as inventory buildups in traditional strongholds, namely China and Europe, led to sharp year-over-year shipment declines, IDC reported.

Samsung posted double-digit growth from the same quarter a year ago but saw a decrease in demand for its feature phones. It made up the difference with continued success for its Android-based Galaxy smartphones.

The difference between Samsung and market leader Nokia also continued to shrink, with less than 20 million units separating the two vendors. However, Samsung expects continued growth into the second half, which could put it in closer contention with Nokia, IDC noted.

LG Electronics held on to its number three position during the quarter, thanks in part to its Optimus smartphone sales. However, IDC said a combination of factors – including soft demand for its feature phones, slow pace of smartphone releases, and competitive pressures – led the company to downgrade its outlook for the year by 24 percent.

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