Top 5 Mobile Phone Makers

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia held onto its lead position among the top five manufacturers during the first quarter but, though shipments continued to grow, it still lost some market share to competitors, according to IDC.

Additionally, the market saw a growth in share attributed to makers outside the top five.

Counting both feature phones and smartphones, Nokia shipped some 108.5 million mobile devices in the first calendar quarter, up from 107.8 million in the comparable quarter of last year.

However, the phone giant's market share overall fell to 29.2 percent from 34.7 percent in 2010's first quarter, according to the latest IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker.

All told, mobile phone manufacturers shipped 371.8 million units in the January through March period, a new record.

Samsung easily held onto its second place ranking with an 18.8 percent share. That's up by nearly 6 million units over the year-ago quarter to 70 million phones

"Samsung having posted a record Q1 shipment volume, further closed the gap against market leader Nokia and extended its lead ahead of third place vendor LG Electronics," an IDC statement said.

Still, as with the case with Nokia, Samsung posted a decline year-over-year in share. In the same quarter last year, Samsung held 20.7 percent of the market.

Likewise, third-place vendor LG Electronics saw a similar dip in share from 8.7 percent in 2010's first quarter to 6.6 percent this year, according to the report, which was co-written by IDC senior research analysts Kevin Restivo and Ramon Llamas.

In fact, LG shipped fewer phones than this time last year. In the first quarter of 2011, LG shipped 24.5 million units versus 27.1 million in 2010.

"Several notable vendors, including feature phone makers, outpaced the overall market, which contributed to share losses of some top suppliers," Restivo said in a statement.

One bright spot was Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), which shipped 18.7 million phones during the quarter, up from 8.7 million units for the same period last year. Its overall market share jumped from 2.8 percent in 2010 to 5 percent last quarter.

Meanwhile, the number five player, ZTE, increased its share to 4.1 percent, up from 3.3 percent last year.

However, undercutting the bigger makers were players IDC analysts categorize as "others."

That group shipped some 135 million phones, up from 92.2 million previously, for a total market share of 36.3 percent.

"Vendors in the 'others' category, such as Micromax, TCL-Alcatel, Huawei, and Research In Motion -- show that the overall market is still very much ripe for share gains," Restivo added.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.