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Apple’s global expansion of its iPhone is paying off nicely as the company has become the No. 4 mobile phone vendor worldwide, according to IDC.

In Apple’s wake sits Research in Motion (RIMM).

Here’s IDC’s scorecard:

Simply put, Apple’s rise is pretty amazing. In just a few short years, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has come from nowhere to become a large global player.

Other odds and ends from the IDC report:

  • Vendors shipped 340.5 million units in the third quarter, up from 297.1 million a year ago.
  • There are only two smartphone-only vendors in the rankings—Apple and RIM.
  • Nokia has the lead, but really needs some smartphones to compete.

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Source: Apple's iPhone Goes Global, Vaults to Fourth Place Worldwide