ZTE Ahead Of Apple In Global Mobile Market

Chinese manufacturer ZTE has surpassed Apple in the number of mobile phones shipped worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2010.

In a report named "Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker", research firm IDC places Nokia top of the pile, ahead of Samsung and LG in 2nd and 3rd, with ZTE and Apple ranked 4th and 5th respectively.

ZTE shipped 16.8 million units compared to Apple's 16.2 million. In comparison, Nokia and Samsung reached 123.7 million and 80.7 million respectively.

LG Electronics and Nokia were the only two suffering a drop in year-on-year shipments. Nokia now accounts for only 30.8 per cent while ZTE and Apple both added 1.4 per cent to their marketshare.

The "others" segment, led by the likes of Sony Ericsson, HTC, RIM and GFive Mobile, grew by nearly 44 per cent in one year to surpass Nokia's unit shipment with a whopping 133 million units or a third of the market share.

Overall though, Apple is likely to be the biggest mobile phone vendor in terms of gross revenue as the average price of its handsets far surpasses those of its competitors.

More than 400 million handsets were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010, an 18 per cent increase compared to the same quarter last year. IDC also noted that the smartphones category is expected to grow by 43.7 per cent this year.