Research In Motion (RIMM) and HTC definitely don’t need any more bad news, but unfortunately the hits keep on coming.Third-quarter smartphone estimates are trickling out from all the top firms and a number of interesting items are emerging. On the plus side, Samsung continues to keep things interesting in its battle at the top with Apple (AAPL), and the company’s Galaxy S III out-sold the iPhone to become the No.1 handset in the world. In more disheartening news, RIM and HTC continued their downward spirals the third quarter.
According to market research firm Canalys, total global smartphone shipments in the third quarter grew 44% to 173.7 million units. Samsung was the world’s top vendor in the quarter, having shipped an estimated 55.5 million smartphones and growing its market share from 22.7% in Q3 2011 to 32% last quarter.
Apple remained in the No.2 spot with smartphone shipments totaling 26.9 million units. The Cupertino, California-based company’s global market share grew from 14.2% to 15.5% year-over-year according to Canalys, and shipments grew by 57.6% during that period — a figure bested only by Samsung’s staggering 103.6% growth.
Sony (SNY) jumped into the No.3 spot with smartphone shipments totaling 8.8 million units in the third quarter, but the fourth and fifth spots come alongside grim news.
Shipments of HTC smartphones plummeted 36.1% year-over-year in the third quarter, falling to 8.4 million units for a 4.8% share of the market. Meanwhile, RIM lost even more ground — channel sales of BlackBerry smartphones dropped 38.4% in the third quarter, totaling 7.3 million units for a global market share of just 4.2%.