Apple's 8.75 million iPhones shipped in the first 3 months of 2010 managed to edge Motorola, which sold 8.5 million handsets during the same period, according to new data from iSuppli. During the quarter, Apple was the No. 6 overall cell phone maker in the world, while Motorola came in at 8. iSuppli called Apple's growth in the global market a "changing of the guard" in the cell phone industry.

Apple was propelled by 130.7 percent year-over-year growth, up notably from the 3.79 million iPhones sold in the first quarter of 2009. The Cupertino, Calif., company still remains behind Research in Motion, which has 3.6 percent of the market with 10.47 million BlackBerrys sold in the first quarter of 2010.

The numbers serve to demonstrate what a small portion smartphones are of the overall cell phone market. The top global brand during the quarter was Nokia, which sold a total of 107.8 million cell phones and smartphones during the quarter. Competitors Apple and RIM, however, do not sell traditional cell phones.

The latest numbers also demonstrate how far Motorola has fallen: In the first quarter of 2007, the company was the second-largest cell phone shipper in the world, behind only Nokia. Recently, Motorola has shifted its focus to higher margin smartphones, like the Droid.

The report noted that the smartphone market is expected to continue to grow, which could result in both RIM and Apple ousting some of the biggest players in the global cell phone market. Within their sights is No. 4 Sony Ericsson, which has 3.6 percent of the market, but fell 27.6 percent year-over-year in the first quarter.


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