In spite of Apple’s rip roaring sales pace for the last quarter, China’s mobile phone maker ZTE nudged the iPhone down to 5th place in worldwide mobile sales. It’s global market share slipped slightly from 4.1% to 4% according to a mobile phone tracker report by IDC..
Although iPhone is a favorite in Western countries and North America its record shipment of over 16 million units in the last quarter wasn’t quite enough to stop the lower cost phones with less features from ZTE to bump it down.
It was the first time ZTE has hit the top 5 in sales by pumping out almost 17 million units in the last quarter. ZTE has garnered more business outside China and in both the West and developing countries by increasing its smartphone inventory with the new Android based Racer and Blade model phones.
Presently Nokia, Samsung, and LG Electronics, hold down the top three positions in that order, but an IDC spokesman said that strong efforts in the smartphone market by Sony-Erickson, Motorola, and Research In Motion which until recently were in the top 5 positions could see a seesaw of contenders contesting the 4th and 5th positions from quarter to quarter in 2011.
The smartphone market has grown almost 18% in the last year with 60 million more units being sold this year for a total of about 400 million units. The demand is expected to keep growing as more and more features are added to each successive generation of smartphone and consumers continue to get more bang for their buck.