Global shipments of smartphones reached 94 million units in the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of 75% compared to the same period in 2009, according to Strategy Analytics.
Smartphone shipments almost doubled since 2008, reaching 293 million units for the full year in 2010 compared to 151 million units in 2008.
Neil Mawston, director, wireless device strategies at Strategy Analytics, said sales were driven by the Apple iPhone as well as Google Android devices such as those made by Samsung, HTC and Motorola.
"Despite moderate component shortages in the second half of the year smartphone volumes continued to surge across all developed and emerging regions," said Mawston.
Nokia maintained the top position for market share with 34% of the market. However, its market share fell from 39% at the beginning of the year after increased competition from other suppliers.
"Apple is growing two times faster than Nokia. Nokia is working hard behind the scenes to expand its portfolio with more Symbian devices to stay ahead. But it's clear the competition is tougher than it has ever been," added Mawston.
Research in Motion (RIM) followed Nokia with 17% marketshare and Apple with 16%. Apple experienced the highest growth in the period with 89% growth compared to Nokia's 48% year-on-year growth.