A massive 149 million smartphones were sold worldwide in the final three months of 2011 which was almost 50% more than last year.
According to Gartner this contributed to a total figure of 472 million smartphones sold last year.
Record sales of Apple iPhones boosted sales in the final quarter and the manufacturer was the largest smartphone maker in 2011 with 19% share of sales. It has also become the third largest mobile phone supplier after overtaking LG.
"Western Europe and North America led most of the smartphone growth for Apple during the fourth quarter of 2011," said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner. "In Western Europe the spike in iPhone sales in the fourth quarter saved the overall smartphone market after two consecutive quarters of slow sales."
The rapid growth in smartphone is changing how businesses serve customers, which is having a major impact on IT investments.
Shaygan Kheradpir, COO Barclays retail and business banking says the world has gone from having no smartphones a few year ago to an expected 2 billion in 2015. “The world is moving to mobile platforms,” he said. “There are new technology platforms that people are using all day. Now is the time for companies to use it.”