Nokia loses top 5 spot, Samsung ships 56m smart phones

Nokia is out of the top-five smart phone sellers list, replaced by the also-struggling RIM.

Nokia has crashed out of the top-five smart phone manufacturers, losing its spot in the A-list to BlackBerry-maker RIM, which is also in trouble.

The news comes via stat firm IDC, which says Nokia has enjoyed a top-five spot since 2004. Now however the Finnish firm has been toppled, thanks to the massive popularity of rivals Apple and Samsung.

When you lose a spot at the top to RIM, you know things are looking grim. The BlackBerry-crafting firm is currently in tech limbo, awaiting the launch of its BlackBerry 10 operating system early next year.

RIM shipped 7.7 million smart phones in the months July-September according to the research firm, down from 11.8 million in the same period last year. Its estimated market share fell from 9.6 per cent last year to 4.3 per cent.

Nokia and RIM aren't the only big-name brands in trouble. HTC shipped 7.3 million smart phones in the third quarter of 2012, compared with 12.7 units during the same stretch of time last year.

That's a dramatic fall, especially for a manufacturer that's been churning out high-end devices like the HTC One X and One S this year. Nokia and HTC will both be hoping that the launch of their Windows Phone 8 devices (see the Lumia 920 and HTC 8X respectively), can give gloomy figures a shot in the arm.

The story the numbers tell is off a smart phone world that's being increasingly dominated by just two companies, Samsung and Apple. Samsung shipped a whopping 56.3 million smart phones between July and September, miles ahead of Apple's 26.9 million -- though the iPhone-maker still saw its number of shipments leap to 10 million higher than they were in the same period last year.

Is there any room for competition when Samsung and Apple are so far in the lead? And is it fair that HTC and Nokia are struggling? Tell me in the comments or on our Facebook wall.