Apple Gets a Bigger Share of This Pie

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is now the third-largest mobile handset maker in the world, although nemesis Samsung teasingly sits on top of the pile with its almost 23 percent share of the market. Nokia (NYSE:NOK) is in second place, at 19.2 percent, owing to its still-firm hold on markets without a significant enough smartphone reach, according to new data from research firm Gartner.

The report said the iPhone accounted for 5.5 percent of all mobile phone sales in the third quarter, up from 3.9 percent in the same third-month period last year. Apple overtook LG in the rankings as the Korean company dropped to fifth place, just behind ZTE.

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Global sales of mobile phones reached 428 million units in the quarter. While overall mobile phone sales were down 3.1 percent, smartphone sales were up 47 percent year over year.

While Gartner did not offer extensive details on specifically the smartphone market, it said Apple and Samsung together accounted for 46.5 percent of sales in the quarter, leaving “a handful of vendors fighting over a distant third spot.” Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) was still in third place, just ahead of HTC. Nokia took a big tumble, falling from the third spot down to seventh. The Finnish company should be helped in the fourth quarter by the arrival of new Lumia devices on Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8, Gartner said.

In terms of platform, Apple’s iOS accounted for 13.9 percent of the smartphone operating system market to be in second place behind Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android’s market dominating 72.4 percent.

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