FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) – The global smartphone market set a record for shipments in the third quarter as it continues to weather the economic turmoil, research firm IDC said Thursday.

Smartphone vendors shipped 43.3 million units during the third quarter, up 4.2 percent from the same period a year earlier and up more than 3 percent from the second quarter of this year.

Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst at IDC, said smartphones will likely continue to grow faster than the overall cell phone market.

The buzz surrounding Android, Google Inc.'s operating system for cell phones, is "reaching critical mass," he added, with recent Android-based handset launches from manufacturers such as Motorola Inc., HTC and Samsung LG.

Finland's Nokia Corp. kept its post as the top smartphone manufacturer. But Apple Inc., whose iPhone revolutionized the industry, reached the highest shipment volume in a single quarter, and it was the third-largest smartphone vendor during the quarter.

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. was in second place, with a market share of 19 percent to Apple's 17.1 percent. Nokia, meanwhile, had 37.9 percent of the smartphone market.

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