RIM breaks into top 5 in surging phone mkt

CIOL Bureau
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HELSINKI, FINLAND: Blackberry-maker Research in Motion broke into the top five cellphone makers in January-March for the first time ever, helped by booming smartphone demand.


The global handset market has been dominated by five major players -- Nokia, Samsung, LG Electronics, Motorola and Sony Ericsson -- for the last five years.

Over the last two years Sony Ericsson and Motorola have struggled with falling sales and market share, and despite fast market growth, both firms reported sharp drops in sales volumes.

IDC estimated RIM shipped 10.6 million phones in January-March, just ahead of Sony Ericsson's 10.5 million.


The research firm said all vendors in total made 295 million phones in the quarter, up 21.7 percent from a year ago, and stuck to its 11 percent market growth forecast for 2010.

"The entrance of RIM into the top 5 underscores the sustained smartphone growth trend that is driving the global mobile phone market recovery," IDC analyst Kevin Restivo said in a statement.

Motorola, who was the second largest phone maker just six years ago, sold 8.5 million phones in the quarter, falling also behind Apple, who sold 8.75 million iPhones.

Nokia shipped 107.8 million phones in the quarter, with Korean vendors Samsung and LG selling 64.3 million and 27.1 million phones, respectively.