IDC has released numbers showing that Apple has surpassed LG to become the third largest mobile phone maker in the world.
Apple jumped into the third spot globally from the fifth spot last quarter thanks to a record-breaking quarter of shipments. That represents the Cupertino-based company's highest-ever ranking on IDC's Top 5 global mobile phone leaderboard. [...] Device sales in the U.S. and Japan were particularly strong given extra sales days in the quarter and carrier distribution.
These figures represent overall mobile phone sales, not just smartphone sales. A lot of Apple's recent growth in the mobile phone market can be credited to their latest quarterly results, where they sold through more than 37 million iPhone units. The majority of iPhone sales fell under the iPhone 4S, so it's safe to say the iPhone 4S had a big hand in pushing Apple to the number three spot.
Although they're pretty far off from taking the number one position held by Nokia (with 113.5 million units shipped in Q4 2011, the majority being feature phones), the fact is the iPhone jumped almost 100 percent in year-over-year sales growth with nearly 100 million units sold throughout 2011. Samsung, on the other hand, only grew about 18 percent.
The question is, with no new iPhone until later this year, and lots of new Android phones expected by summer, can Apple overtake Samsung at number two by the end of 2012.