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RIM, Apple, HTC to Ship 50% smartphones in Q1

Digitimes runs a s

tory stating that Apple, RIM and HTC will be shipping about half of all smartphones worldwide. According to the data published, Apple will be shipping 19-20 million smartphones in the first quarter, followed by RIM with 14-15 million and HTC with 8-9 million.

It is somewhat surprising to see that both Apple and RIM are apparently counting on higher shipments in Q1 than in Q4, while HTC is decreasing its production slightly. Apple is reportedly increasing its production by about one third to 20 million units. If Digitimes is correct, then we could see Apple approaching 100 million iPhone shipments this year. The total number of global smartphone unit sales is in the range of about 500 million.

We take the Digitimes number with a grain of salt, especially since it mentions that Nokia will still hold about 30% of the market - which means that the top four companies will hold about 80 - 90% of the market - and other big players such as Samsung, Motorola and LG have not been counted yet.