Samsung moved swiftly on Motorola’s former spot and it seems unlikely that the latter would be able to get it back in the near future. Samsung is now the world’s second largest handset manufacturer, due to the company strong growth to a current 21%.

In the mean time, Motorola continued to go downhill, with its market share dropping by 7.6%.

"Motorola today is a pale version of the company it was a year ago," said Carolina Milanesi, research director for mobile devices at Gartner. "The third quarter saw Samsung gain the number two position taking advantage of Motorola’s continued weak performance. Samsung will have to continue to closely manage its inventory in the last quarter of the year so as not to start 2008 on the wrong foot."

Needless to say, Nokia had no problem in keeping its position as king of the phone manufacturer hill. Its market share passed over the 38% milestone, a jump mainly driven by strong performances in Asia/Pacific and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Nokia’s mobile phone sales to end users totaled 110.2 million units.

What’s even worse for Motorola is that its current market share is dangerously close to the occupants of the number four and number five positions in the top, namely Sony Ericsson and LG. However, both companies featured small growths and might just give Motorola enough time to recover.

Worldwide sales of mobile phones to end users in the third quarter of 2007 reached 289 million units, a 15% increase from the same period last year.