Apple is world's fourth largest mobile maker

Apple has for the first time joined the list of the top five mobile phone manufacturers in the world, which will be cause for celebration on the streets of Cupertino.

But what will really get the wheat-grass smoothies flowing at Apple HQ is the fact that the iPhone in its various incarnations has also knocked RIM maker BlackBerry into fifth place, booting poor Sony Ericsson out of the top five altogether.

Market-watching outfit IDC has just posted its Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker results and they show that Nokia is still top of the heap with 32.4 per cent of third quarter 2010 handset sales. Samsung is second with 21 per cent and LG makes up the top three with 8.3 per cent.

Adding substance to Steve Jobs' recent assertion that Apple had overtaken RIM in the mobile market, the Cupertino company pipped the BlackBerry maker's 3.6 per cent with a 4.2 per cent market share.

Apple and RIM also showed the greatest growth in penetration year on year with 90.5 per cent and 45.9 per cent, respectively.

RIM boss Jim Balsillie moaned that Jobs has skewed the figures to his own ends, but IDC's numbers show that 12.4 million BlackBerrys and 14.1 million iPhones were shifted in the three months ending September 2010.

Kudos to Apple Insider for digging up the data.