Apple jumps to third place in global mobile market

It’s certainly not news that Apple is doing well in the US, or in the worldwide smartphone market, but now it’s making a significant mark on the entire global handset industry.

That means that even when you factor in cheap, free-after-contract phones and the millions of entry-level handsets that dominate third-world countries, Apple is still the third biggest vendor in the industry.

This is according to the latest numbers from research group IDC, which said on a global scale, mobile phone sales grew 6.1% year-to-year in the most recent quarter outpacing expectations.

So-called “featurephones,” which are a step below smartphones, still account for the majority of devices shipped worldwide. However, areas like South America, which have been late to get into the smartphone game, are starting to offer low-profile smartphones like sub-$200 Android devices.

And while Apple is now third place on a global scale, inching ahead of prior title-holder LG, it is still no match for #1 or #2. Nokia still captures more of the market than anyone else. But that’s because it has monopolistic power in developing nations where no other manufacturer has any desire to enter. It’s not a potentially lucrative segment but it does account for millions of unit sales.

In the #2 position is Samsung, which has aggressively increased the number of products it offers and accordingly has grown its sales significantly over the last couple years.