Apple already number-three smart phone vendor?

Apple's iPhone may only have been out for only a few months, and it may be prohibitively expensive for some. However, Singapore-based market research firm Canalys says the device sold well enough to put Apple in the number-three spot for worldwide smart mobile device market share last quarter.

Apple captured 6.5% of the market in Q4, Canalys says, compared to 11.4% for Blackberry maker Research in Motion and 53% for Finnish phone giant Nokia. Motorola did almost as well as Apple, earning the same 6.5% share but with 2,301,260 smart mobile device shipments to Apple's 2,320,840.

Of course, Apple is still a minor player in the overall phone market. Canalys says smart mobile devices, which include smart phones and wireless handhelds, only made up around 10% of global handset sales in 2007. Nonetheless, the market is growing fast: Canalys goes on to add that smart mobile device sales increased 72% between Q4 2006 and Q4 2007 for an overall growth of 60% in 2007.

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