The number of cell phones shipped worldwide rose 14.5 percent in the second quarter compared with a year earlier, with much of the growth coming from smaller challengers like the iPhone and BlackBerry, according to research firm IDC.
Manufacturers shipped 317.5 million phones in the quarter, IDC said in its report late Thursday. It's based on publicly reported figures from the major phone manufacturers. Phone sales took a dip during the recession, but have now recovered to 2008's levels.
The industry has left the recession with a different look. Nokia Corp. of Finland is still the world's largest maker of phones, but its growth is slower than the industry's and its share of the market is 35 percent compared to 40 percent two years ago. Motorola Inc. has fallen to seventh place in the world from number three. Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc., both based in South Korea, are No. 2 and 3.
Meanwhile, Research In Motion Ltd., the maker of the BlackBerry is now the fourth-largest maker of phones worldwide, shipping 11.2 million units. Close behind is Apple Inc., with 8.4 million units and HTC Corp. of Taiwan, with 6.5 million.
"Companies with a strict focus on the smartphone market, like RIM, Apple, and HTC have clearly benefited from steadily increasing user interest," said IDC analyst Ramon Llamas.
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