Sony has had a strong run recently, so much so that the Japanese manufacturer has pushed its way to third place in the ranking of handset manufacturers, sitting behind Apple and market leader Samsung.
The last time Sony was listed in the top five was in 2006. Sony have a strong range of Xperia devices, and benefited from a lot of marketing exposure in recent months in the run up to the release of the new James Bond film, Skyfall. In the film, Bond is seen using a Sony Xperia T.
In Q3 Sony took a 5.1 percent share of the smartphone market, shipping almost 9 million units worldwide. The brand scores particularly well in its home country, where it is the number one manufacturer. However Sony will have to work harder to increase its exposure in the US, where it holds just 0.5 percent of the market share.
Samsung continues to dominate the marketplace, with shipments up 103 percent year on year, giving the Korean company 32 percent of the market. Future signs look good for Samsung, and it is expected to remain in the number one position for quite a while, with the competition failing to make any significant gains.
Shipments of the iPhone were again strong, keeping Apple in second place, a long way ahead of Sony. Apple rose its market share to 15.5 percent, shipping almost 27 million units.
During the third quarter a total of 173.7 million smartphones were shipped globally, with the Asia Pacific region accounting for more than 53 percent of the market. Smartphone volumes were predominantly driven by China, which passed through the 50 million unit barrier.
HTC managed to hold on to fourth place, just ahead of RIM. HTC held a share of 4.8 percent, thanks mainly to a reasonably successful run with the HTC One series. Analysts suggest that a lot of brand investment is going to be needed by HTC if they are to gain any significant ground in smartphone sales.