The winners were driven by top notch devices from the likes of Apple and Samsung, but also by the number of inexpensive handsets in many markets, according to IDC analyst Anthony Scarsella.
He said that premium handsets sold well in developed markets, but emerging markets heavily contributed to the total units shipped
Rather than being concentrated in the hands of big names like Apple and Samsung, however, there are new vendors entering the market.
Chine company are making gain but IDC tracks 200 different smartphone vendors worldwide.
The major players in order of shipments are Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo – meaning that three Chinese vendors are included in the top five.
The IDC figures exclude OEM sales for all the vendors – in other words they are branded devices.