iPhone Sales Accounted For 8% Of All Mobile Phone Sales Worldwide Last Quarter

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Apple is the third largest mobile phone manufacturer
Apple is the third largest mobile phone manufacturer

It’s one thing to listen to the number of iPhones sold during an Apple financials call and be impressed by the sheer volume and popularity of the iPhone. It’s also easy to miss the overall impact of those incredibly high numbers without some context.

Gartner’s latest mobile device data, however, offers an excellent point of context – just under 8% of all mobile phones sold worldwide last quarter were iPhones.

Specifically, Gartner reported that Apple sold just over 33.1 million iPhones during the first quarter of 2012 and accounted for 7.9% of all mobile phone sales.

It’s important to understand that the numbers here don’t mean smartphones, which account for roughly half of the mobile phone markets in many countries.

They mean all phones – smartphones, dumb phones, feature phones, pre-paid phones, contract subsidized phones. Despite not selling low-cost handsets or non-smartphones, Apple secured 7.9% of all mobile phones.That’s pretty impressive.

It doesn’t give Apple the number one spot, however. Samsung and Nokia both sell more phones overall than Apple, putting them in first and second place with 20.7% and 19.8% of the global market respectively. Of course, those numbers also include a wider range of handsets and encompass markets beyond the ones in which Apple competes.

It’s also worth noting that this is the first time that Nokia was pushed out of the spot since 1998.

Beyond Apple’s third place finish ZTE and LG rounded out the top five mobile vendor list. Both sold around half the number of phones as Apple netting 4.2% and 4% of the market respectively.

Gartner also reported that Samsung also sold just under 5 million more smartphones than Apple making it the number one smartphone vendor with 38 million sales.

Gartner's figures for Q1 2012 mobile phone sales

Source: Gartner