Market research company, IDC has just released its smartphone market share numbers for the first quarter of 2011 and it clearly shows Apple is only second to Nokia in worldwide shipments.

Apple’s shipments have grown from 8.7 million in 2010 to 18.7 million in 2011 which is an amazing growth of over 114%. In the same period Nokia only managed a 12.6% increase.

Only 6 million units now separate Apple from Nokia. Apple has posted market beating year-on-year growth which has been bolstered this year with the release of the CDMA iPhone for Verizon as well as strong China, South Korea and Saudi markets. Apple’s market share has increased from 15.7% to 18.7% in the last 12 months.

[The Loop]