Report: 50% of global smartphone shipments in 2011 will be from Apple, HTC and RIM

Recently Apple become the 4th largest mobile phone vendor in the world, overtaking Waterloo-based RIM. Top spot and still the largest is Nokia, then Samsung and LG. New reports from DigiTimes today that state the first quarter of 2011 will be an incredibly busy period. According to their sources they estimate that “Apple, RIM and HTC will ship, respectively, 19-20 million, 14-15 million and 8-9 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2011, together sharing more than 50% of global smartphone shipments of 80-85 million units.”

Believable? Not sure… Samsung is pressing ahead with their Galaxy S lineup and possibly coming out with a follow up device in the first quarter. Nokia will start shipping their flagship device E7 in Q1. Then there is LG. They plan to release several Android devices – one of particular interest is the incredibly thin LG “B” that will be officially announced at CES.

The numbers will eventually reveal themselves but there is one thing that is certain. Smartphones are becoming the device of choice. Manufacturers are no longer focusing their attention on quick messaging devices.