Research firm IDC today announced the results of its survey of smartphone shipment data for the first quarter of 2011, following up on last week's release of data on the broader mobile phone market.
According to the new smartphone data, Apple continues to hold second place among the world's top smartphone manufacturers with 18.7% market, with unit sales up 114% year-over-year and its share rising by three percentage from the year-ago quarter. That rise, combined with rapid declines in market-leader Nokia's smartphone share, has allowed Apple to move within six percentage points of the top spot.
Apple reached a new record shipment volume in a single quarter, and inched closer to market leader Nokia with fewer than six million units separating the two companies. The company posted market-beating year-over-year growth and recorded triple-digit growth in two key markets: the United States, with the release of its CDMA-enabled iPhone, and Greater China. Additionally, the company enlisted South Korean Telecom and Saudi Telecom as carrier providers of the iPhone.
Overall, worldwide smartphone sales grew by nearly 80% year-over-year, with several Android-focused manufacturers including Samsung and HTC joining Apple in leading the way while Nokia and third-place Research in Motion significantly lagged the overall market growth.