A total of 54.5 million smartphones were shipped by manufacturers in 2009, up from 39.2 million from a year earlier, according to analyst IDC.
For the whole of 2009, manufacturers shipped 174.2 million units, an increase of 15.1 per cent from the 151.4 million units in 2008.
Smartphones accounted for 15.4 per cent of all mobiles shipped last year, up from 12.7 per cent in 2008. All manufacturers recorded an increase in Q4 shipments.
Apple showed the biggest growth, shipping 8.7 million units in Q4, an increase of 97 per cent compared to a year earlier.
Motorola showed signs of recovery by growing 56.3 per cent in shipping 2.5 million units in Q4 compared to the 1.6 million it shipped a year earlier.
RIM grew by 40.8 per cent in shipping 10.7 million in the quarter and Nokia by 37.7 per cent after shipping 20.8 million handsets.
Out of the top five smartphone vendors, HTC showed the lowest growth, shipping 2.4 million handsets in Q4 compared to the 2.2 million it shipped a year earlier.
Over the year, Nokia remained the top manufacturer in the smartphone market, with share of 38.9 per cent, which is down from 40 per cent a year earlier.
RIM trails Nokia in second with a market share of 19.8 per cent – an increase of 4.2 per cent – while Apple’s market share rose 5.3 per cent to 14.4 per cent.