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Rocketing iPhone sales drive Apple into phone vendor top ten

But the pole's slippery - just ask Motorola...

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Apple joined Samsung and Sony Ericsson as the only major mobile phone makers to increase their market share during Q3, researcher Strategy Analytics said today.

Apple's shipment of 6.9m iPhones during the quarter, up from 1.1m in Q3 2007, propelled the Mac maker into the top ten list of phone suppliers, SA said, displacing RIM in the process.

Apple took 2.3 per cent of the market during Q3 2008 - not bad for a company that wasn't even a player in this arena 18 months ago.

That put it in sixth place, behind LG (7.6 per cent), Motorola (8.4 per cent), Sony Ericsson (8.5 per cent), Samsung (17.1 per cent) and Nokia (38.9 per cent).

The phone giant saw its share slip, as did LG and - in particular - Motorola, which fell behind not only traditional rival Samsung but also Sony Ericsson.

"Rampant" Apple has some way to go match even LG's shipments - 23m unit during Q3 - let alone the likes of Samsung (51.8m) and Nokia (117.8m). That said, SA noted that "Nokia’s limited presence in the US is costing it dear, as it continues to miss out on much of the region’s high-growth smartphone market", which is currently aiding the likes of Apple and RIM.

Overall, some 303m handsets shipped into the market during Q3, up a mere five per cent on Q3 2007's total and 1.8 per cent on the previous quarter. Growth plunged to a five-year low, SA said.

It forecast some 345m phones will ship during Q4 - also a five per cent year-on-year increase, but a 13.9 per cent rise over Q3's total.

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