Apple is now the second largest smartphone vendor globally, according to figures from research firm Canalys, pushing BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) into third place.
The introduction of the iPhone 3G in July has proved a great success, with nearly seven million devices shipped during the third quarter of 2008, representing a 17.3 per cent share of the market, Canalys found.
Defying the effects of the credit crunch, overall smartphone shipments hit a new high of about 40 million devices, an increase of 28 per cent on the same period last year.
And despite being pushed into second place, BlackBerry shipments still grew by over 80 per cent, with RIM claiming a 15.2 per cent share of the market.
Nokia was still the unchallenged leader of the market with over 15 million units and a 38.4 per cent market share, but the Finnish giant saw a slight fall in shipments for the first time.
"Nokia is transitioning from some very successful volume drivers, like the N95 and E65, to a number of successors such as the flagship N96, and shipments of these new models have not yet ramped up," said Tim Shepherd of Canalys.
With Motorola in fourth place, largely thanks to its Linux-based handsets, closely followed by HTC with Windows Mobile, the top five vendors are largely allied to a different platform.
Looking ahead, Canalys predicts that Symbian will remain the dominant platform, but that it could be a tough fight between the other operating systems.
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