BOSTON -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global handset shipments grew 16 percent annually to reach 400 million units in the fourth quarter of 2010. Apple again outgrew its major rivals, while Nokia and LG slipped back due to tougher competition.

Alex Spektor, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global handset shipments grew 16 percent annually to reach 400 million units in Q4 2010. Apple was a star performer during the quarter, as it once again outgrew major rivals, held its top-five ranking, and announced a potentially lucrative tie-up with mega-operator Verizon Wireless in the United States.”

Neil Mawston, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “It was a mixed quarter for the world's major handset vendors. Some brands outperformed, such as Apple, while others underperformed, such as LG and Nokia. LG continued to lose ground due to a weak smartphone portfolio, while Nokia suffered ongoing component shortages and sluggish sales in the important US market.”

Other findings from the research include:

* Motorola shipped 11.3 million handsets worldwide during Q4 2010, of which 43 percent was smartphones. The growing ratio of smartphone shipments, mostly Android, enabled Motorola to eke out its first profit in the handset division since Q4 2006.

* Global handset shipments reached a record 1.36 billion units in full year 2010, driven by smartphones in mature markets and multi-SIM models in emerging markets. The mobile industry recovered robustly in 2010 after a weak 2009 caused by the economic downturn.

The full report, Global Handset Shipments Reach 400 Million Units in Q4 2010, is published by the Strategy Analytics Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, details of which can be found here: