Apple has almost 8% of all worldwide mobile phone sales which makes Apple the 3rd largest handset maker. Here one thing to remember that Apple is only sells smartphones. Gartner recently announced the sales data of the first quarter of 2012 and it found that Apple’s 33.1 million iPhones sold accounted for 7.9% of the total mobile phone market.

For your info, Gartner’s data represents worldwide mobile device sales to end users, not shipments. Furthermore, the 33.1 million iPhones that Gartner says Apple sold is off by two million from the 25.1 million Apple itself reported last month. The company is growing day by day and its’s share continued to double from the first quarter of 2011 where the company sold 16.8 million iPhones and represented 3.9 percent of all mobile device sales according to Gartner’s data.

If you look at the stats then you can see the major market share shifted towards Samsung. Samsung has taken a heavy share of Nokia which had been the market leader since 1998 but now Samsung has taken the number 1 position. Samsung’s 86.8 million units sold took 20.7% of the market while Nokia was in second with 83.2 million units, or a 19.8% share.

Gartner’s research also concluded that during this quarter Samsung was on the top in selling smartphones with the sale of 38 million where Apple was on the 2nd spot with 33.1 million iPhones shipped by Apple.

With a share of 7.9%, Apple put it in third place. Still, Nokia is long way ahead from Apple where ZTE well behind Apple with a sale 17.4 million units in the quarter. With 4.2% of the market, ZTE on the 4th spot and LG on the fifth place selling 14.7 million handset for a share of 3.5%.

The end result shows that the biggest gainers in the first quarter were Apple, Samsung, and ZTE with RIM, Nokia, Motorola, LG, and HTC all seeing their share of the market shrink from the first quarter of 2011.

Smarphones have increased their share with 44.7% year over year and a total of 144.4 million smartphones sold to end users in the first quarter of 2012. Apple and Samsung account for 49.3% of all smartphone sales worldwide, well above the 29.3% the two collectively represented during the first quarter of 2011.