The global mobile market grew 17.9% in Q4 2010, driven by strong sales of smartphones, according to a report by analyst firm IDC.
Handset manufacturers shipped 401.4 million units in the fourth quarter of last year, compared with 340.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2009.
This came after a poor 2009, which saw the market decline by 1.6%.
IDC analyst Kevin Restivo said: ‘The mobile phone market has the wind behind its sails. Mobile phone users are eager to swap out older devices for ones that handle data as well as voice, which is driving growth and replacement cycles.’
Nokia’s volume share fell 2.4% in the fourth quarter, as competition continued to grow. However, it grew smartphone volume by 38% compared with Q4 2009.
Samsung reached the 80 million unit threshold for the first time in its history and LG crossed the 30 million unit mark for the quarter.
Meanwhile, ZTE moved into the number four position worldwide in the fourth quarter of last year, partly due to the success of its smartphones such as the Android-based Blade and Racer devices.
Apple dropped to the number five position despite a record quarter for unit shipments.
IDC believes the worldwide mobile phone market will be driven largely by smartphone growth through the end of 2014.