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Apple ousts LG from world phone biz top three

Nokia and Samsung still well ahead

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Market watcher IDC has weighed in on the 'who sells how many mobile phones' debate with its own figures. It has followed the consensus that Apple is now the world's third biggest phone maker.

Not 'smartphone maker' but 'phone maker'. It's worth stressing the difference because both Nokia and Samsung, the two companies placed above Apple by IDC, sell old-style voice-centric handsets as well as smartphones. Apple only sells smartphones.

Still, in Q4 2011, it only sold enough of them to account for 8.7 per cent of the world phone market, well below Samsung's 22.8 per cent and Nokia's 26.6 per cent share.

Apple more than doubled its share year on year whereas Samsung's increase was a more modest 2.8 percentage point gain.

Nokia's long-time market share slide continued - it took 30.7 per cent of the market in Q4 2010 - but its decline was as nothing to the plunge LG's share has taken in a twelvemonth. A year ago, the South Korean company took 7.6 per cent of the market, now it's down to 4.1 per cent, only fractionally above Chinese budget-mobile maker ZTE. ®

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