Apple is now the second largest smartphone vendor globally, according to figures from research firm Canalys. Being a newcomer to the market, the company managed to ship a total of 6.9 million iPhone devices, grabbing 17.3 percent of the market while vaulting past RIM and Motorola at the same time.

Nokia is still the leading vendor by a comfortable margin, holding 38.9 percent of the market – but that margin was even more comfortable last year at over 50 percent. Despite being pushed into second place, BlackBerry shipments still grew by over 80 per cent, with RIM claiming a 15.2 percent share of the market, while Motorola ended a distant fourth at 5.8 percent.

On the software side of things, Canalys predicts that Symbian will remain the dominant platform due to its close association with Nokia. Apple and RIM obviously saw strong gains in that department as well – their OS is proprietary and tied to their hardware – whereas Microsoft increased the number of Windows Mobile handsets shipped by 42 percent.