Punters picked up 417 million mobile phones in the third quarter of 2010 - a 35 per cent jump on the same three months of 2009.
Smartphones accounted for 19.3 per cent of total sales - up 96 per cent on the same period of 2009 pushed by two relative newcomers to the market.
Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, said: "This quarter saw Apple and Android drive record smartphone sales. Apple's share of the smartphone market surpassed Research In Motion (RIM) in North America to put it second behind Android while Android volumes also grew rapidly making it the No. 2 operating system worldwide.”
The top three handset makers - Nokia, Samsung and LG - kept their places despite losing market share, but Apple got into the top five for the first time.
Apple sold 13.5m shiny handsets in the three months, putting it in fourth place overall and ousting BlackBerry. Gartner noted Apple could have sold even more iPhones, but was held back by supply problems.
The other big factor in growing is "white-box manufacturers" in India, Russia, South America and Africa. Gartner believes this market will continue with continuing demand for non-3G services.
Milanesi said: “This is having a profound effect on the top five mobile handset manufacturers’ combined share that dropped from 83 percent in the third quarter of 2009 to 66.9 percent in the third quarter of 2010.”
The details on which mobile manufacturers sold the most handsets are here. ®