Updated from 9:13 a.m. EDT

Not Apple ( AAPL) Samsung, LG or HTC. It's Nokia that remains the industry leader when it comes to designing and selling smartphones around the world.

Worldwide smartphone sales grew 3.7% on the year to 38.1 million units in the fourth quarter of 2008, research firm Gartner said Wednesday. As a proportion of all mobile-device sales, smartphones remained relatively stable at 12% in the fourth quarter, compared with 11% a year earlier

Smart Phones

According to the latest numbers from Gartner, the Finnish company maintained its market-leading position in the previous quarter.

On the other hand, its market share fell to 40.8% from 50.9%, and its smartphone sales declined 17% to 15.6 million units. Research In Motion's ( RIMM) share of the pie increased from 10.9% to a whopping 19.5% in the fourth quarter. And the same numbers are very good news for Apple ( AAPL). They basically doubled their smartphones sales from the previous fourth quarter -- now standing at 10.7% of the total market share.

HTC and Samsung registered 4.3% and 4.2%, respectively.
Gary Krakow is TheStreet.com's senior technology correspondent.

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