Nokia's dominance at the top of the smartphone market in Western Europe is under severe threat – with Apple's iPhone and a resurgent Sony Ericsson offering carving into its market share.

Nokia held a massive 45.6 per cent of the smartphone market in the third quarter of 2009, but IDC's latest figures suggested that this slipped to just 31.7 per cent in the same period this year.

Apple's market share was up by just under 1% from 24% to a shade under a quarter of the market, and BlackBerry maker RIM put on a 1.7 per cent increase in third place and now holds 15.6 per cent of the market.

Sony Ericsson growth

A new focus on smartphones by Sony Ericsson saw it ship 2 million handsets in the quarter – enough to move it into fourth spot moving from a paltry 0.6 per cent market share in 2009 to a 10.6 per cent share this year.

HTC's impressive portfolio of phones puts it in fifth but it has seen its market share drop by more than two per cent.

Other manufacturers had been responsible for only half a million handsets sales in the region in 2009, but that increased to 1.9 million as the market for smartphones swelled.