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Apple Surpasses RIM In Global Mobile Phone Sales

Apple has now become one of the top five mobile phone manufacturers in the world thanks to the introduction of the iPhone in emerging markets, IDC Strategy Analytics has announced.

The Cupertino-based consumer electronics giant surpassed BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) to take the fourth position, behind LG Electronics, Samsung and Nokia, which topped the list.

IDC analysts believe that if Apple manages to launch an iPhone on Verizon's CDMA network, then its market share will further increase.

Kevin Restivo, an IDC analyst, said: “The entrance of Apple to the top five underscores the increased importance of smartphones to the overall market. Vendors that aren’t developing a strong portfolio of smartphones will be challenged to grow and retain market share in the future.”

Apple climbed to fourth after selling 14.1 million iPhone's in the third quarter. RIM lost its position after selling only 12 million smartphones in the third quarter.

Both Nokia and LG saw their market share fall during the quarter. Nokia was down from 36.5 per cent last year to 32.4 per cent and LG slipped to 8.3 per cent.