In the first quarter of 2011, worldwide smartphone sales totaled 99.6 million units, up 79.7% from the 55.4 million units in the first quarter of 2010 according to a recent report from IDC.


The research firm attributes the rapid increase in sales to a combination of more mid-range and entry-level offerings and lower pricing.

Nokia, despite announcing its intentions to move from Symbian to Windows Phone as its primary smartphone operating system, managed to remain the global leader in smartphones with 24.2 million units shipped in the first quarter thanks to strong demand overseas.
It's hard to imagine Nokia's lead will last long after Apple shipped a record 18.7 million iPhone's in the quarter thanks to triple-digit growth in two key markets: the United States, with the release of its CDMA-enabled iPhone, and Greater China.

Nokia's share was 24.3% in the quarter, down from 38.8% in the first quarter of 2010. Apple meanwhile saw its share rise from 15.7% to 18.7%.

Research In Motion's (RIM) sales in the quarter were 13.9 million units, up 31.1% from the same quarter of the year. The numbers were well below the industry and left RIM in the third spot overall. RIM has launched several 3G devices to the market, and recently announced two new BlackBerry smartphones running on its new BlackBerry 7 OS. Still, the majority of RIM's shipment volumes have been comprised of older, lower-cost devices. The company expects this trend to continue in the second quarter.

Samsung posted the largest year-over-year gain of any other vendor on the list. With a multiple operating system strategy in place, Samsung sales were 10.8 million units, up 350% from the same quarter of 2010. Accounting for the majority of its smartphones and driving shipment volumes higher was the continued success of its Android-based smartphones, including the high-end Galaxy S devices and mass-market Galaxy Ace and Galaxy mini devices.

The follow is a list of the top five Smartphone Vendors by unit volume in the first quarter of 2011 courtesy of IDC. The numbers in parenthesis is the percentage increase over the first quarter of 2010.
  • Nokia - 24,200,000 (12.6%)
  • Apple - 18,700,000 (114.4%)
  • RIM - 13,900,000 (31.1%)
  • Samsung - 10,800,000 (350.0%)
  • HTC - 8,900,000 (229.6%)
  • All Others - 23,200,000 (143.7%)

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