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Apple has jumped to No 2 in the global smartphone market, according to an IDC report – and, according to an independent US analyst, could next year sell as many as 100 million iPhones
Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair estimates that Apple could double its shipment of iPhones to 100 million in 2011, up from an estimated 48-50 million in 2010. Those figures appear backed by IDC’s latest report, which gives Apple credit for 14 million shipments in Q3, for an annualised rate of around 52 million.

IDC says the global smartphone market reached 81 million shipments during the third quarter, with vendors posting double- or even triple-digit year-over-year growth.

Shipments were up 89.5 percent from the 42.8 million handsets shipped during 3Q 2009. For the first three quarters of 2010, vendors shipped a total of 200.6 million units, up 67.6 percent.

By the end of 2010, IDC predicts more than 20 percent of all devices shipped to partners worldwide will be what it calls “converged mobile devices” (read smartphones). In comparison, only 15 percent of all devices shipped in 2009 were converged mobile devices.

Nokia took the lead among smartphone vendors with 32 percent of the action, albeit with many low-margin products.

Apple took the number 2 ranking worldwide with 14.1 million units shipped – all high-priced iPhones.

Research In Motion, despite reaching a new record level of shipments in a single quarter, fell to third place for the quarter with 12.4 million units.

Samsung posted the highest year-over-year change, leaping from 1.3 million handsets in Q3 last year to 7.2 million in the latest year. This result came as the worldwide launch of its Galaxy S Android-powered smartphones hit the streets.

Taiwan’s HTC posted triple-digit year-over-year growth on the strength of its Android-powered smartphones worldwide. But it still could manage only 5.8 million shipments, against Apple’s 14 million.

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