Apple Passed RIM in Worldwide Phone Sales But Has a Long Way to Catch Up to Nokia, Samsung & LG

There was a time when the common wisdom was the Apple and its iPhone appealed to a small segment of the small category of phones known as smartphones. However, something funny is happening as the iPhone heads toward 100,000,000 units sold (probably sometime in early 2011). It has overtaken other smartphone platforms like Windows Mobile which at one point looked like the “next big thing” (back in 2004 or so). And, if IDC’s data is accurate, the iPhone has overtaken the BlackBerry in worldwide units shipped in the third quarter of 2010. To top it off, Apple’s iPhone sales have pushed into the number 4 position of phones of all kinds (not just smartphones) sold in the last quarter.

Apple Joins Top Five Mobile Phone Vendors as Worldwide Market Grows Nearly 15% in Third Quarter, According to IDC (MarketWatch)

IDC: Apple passes RIM to become No. 4 global mobile phone vendor (AppleInsider)

Don’t look for Apple to be number 1 anytime soon though. As amazing as iPhone sales are, its 14.1 million units are nowhere near the top three phone vendors:

1. Nokia: 110.4 million
2. Samsung: 71.4 million
3. LG: 28.4 million