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BlackBerry Breaks Into Worldwide Phone Bestseller List
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BlackBerry fans can break out the bubbly. Growing demand for its phones has helped Research In Motion move into the top five mobile phone companies worldwide in sales during the first quarter, says research firm IDC.

RIM replaced Motorola in the Top 5 chart and tied with Sony Ericsson for the No. 4 position. RIM shipped 10.6 million phones in the first quarter, while Motorola, which had been a fixture in the top-five ranking since 2004, shipped 8.5 million phones.

“This is also the first time a vendor has dropped out of the top five since the second quarter of 2005, when Sony Ericsson grabbed the number five spot from BenQ Siemens,” says Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker.

Apple doesn’t feature in the Top 5 chart because the company shipped 8.75 million phones worldwide in the first quarter, says IDC. Next week, IDC will release data on the top five mobile phone makers in the United States.

However, Apple has taken the top spot among U.S. phone makers, a rather small group that includes Motorola, Apple, Palm and a handful of minor players.

The worldwide rankings take into account both smartphones and feature phones. Though feature phones (cheaper, simpler devices) are still a big percentage of phones sold worldwide, low-cost smartphones are picking up in sales, says IDC.

Nokia, whose devices don’t get much love in the United States, held on to its No. 1 position worldwide, shipping 107.8 million phones in the first quarter of the year. That’s up 16 percent from the same quarter year before.

Samsung ranked second with 64.3 million phones sold, and LG shipped 27.1 million phones to bag the third place. RIM, which ranks fourth, sold nearly 2 million more phones than Motorola, says IDC.

“Key to its success in the first quarter was the popularity of its BlackBerry Curve 8520 and BlackBerry Bold 9700 across multiple markets, as well as its global prepaid offerings,” says IDC. “Strong consumer adoption, particularly among text-crazy teens, has also fueled demand for BlackBerry devices.”

Reuters
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