Matthew Kelly from Swansea reacts as he emerges from the Apple store with new iPhone 4S, in Covent Garden, London
The hugely successful iPhone 4S launch helped Apple reclaim the top step from Samsung Reuters

Apple is once again the number one smartphone supplier in the world, having shipped 37 million of the 149 million smartphones sold globally in 2011.

The sales were boosted by the iPhone 4S which was released in October and helped the Cupertino company see a 117 percent growth in phones sales compared to the third quarter of the year.

Samsung is ranked second with 36 million shipments representing a 28 percent growth from the third quarter.

Apple's success in the Christmas quarter could be attributed to the range of iPhones that the company now sells; while the flagship 4S is at the expensive end of the market, the 3GS and iPhone 4 offer quality smartphones at affordable prices - the 3GS can be had for free on many contracts.

Nokia shipped 20 million smartphones in the final quarter of 2011, up 17 percent from the third quarter and adding up to 77 million shipments for the whole year, compared with 93 million for Apple and 95 million for Samsung.

According to a report by Juniper 14.4 million BlackBerry handsets were shipped in the fourth quarter but that figure isn't entirely representative of manufacturer Research in Motion as a whole.

Despite having a year riddled with setbacks, poor sales, data outages and drunk executives fighting on a plane, a RIM-sponsored report by GFK claims that BlackBerry was the bestselling smartphone brand in the UK for 2011, grabbing a monthly average of 27.7 percent of sales.

According to GFK, BlackBerry smartphones are now used by 8.5 million people in the UK, while the brand's global subscriber base grew by 35 percent.