China's ZTE Corp has replaced BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) among the world's top five mobile phone sellers.
According to a report released on Friday by tech research company IDC, the low priced cellphone maker ZTE also pushed Apple to the last spot on the Top 5 list on the back its surging sales.
The report 'Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker' said Apple was pushed from the fourth slot to the last position despite shipping a record number of iPhones during the fourth quarter.
BlackBerry had made to the IDC's Top 5 list only last April.
According to figures, Nokia remained the No 1 mobile phone seller, shipping 123.7 million units during the quarter, even though its sales declined 2.4% since last year. However, Nokia still commands about 31% of the global smart phone market.
Shipping 80.7 million units during the period, Samsung was at the second spot, with a 20.1% share of the global market.
At 30.6 million units, LG Electronics also posted a 9.7% decline in its sales, since last year.
Riding on zooming sales of its low priced mobile phones, China's ZTE Corp grabbed the fourth spot from Apple by shipping 16.8 million units during the quarterly period. With 16.2 million iPhone units shipped during the period, Apple came last on the Top 5 list.
However, with an annual growth rate of 86%, Apple continued its hold over developed markets in North America and Europe, the IDC report said.
Though Blackberry posted a growth of 35% over the previous year, it was knocked off the Top 5 list.
"Changes among the number four and five vendors could be a regular occurrence this year. Motorola, Research In Motion and Sony Ericsson, all vendors with a tight focus on the fast growing smartphone market who had ranked among the top five worldwide vendors during 2010, are well within striking distance to move back into the top five list," said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team, in a statement.
The IDC was bullish on both RIM and Apple in big markets like India, China and the Middle East. According to the report, 1.39 billion mobile phones were shipped during the year ending Dec 31, 2010; up from 1.17 billion sold in 2009.