Global smartphone sales increased 11.5% on year during the third quarter, the slowest growth rate ever recorded for the devices.
Market research firm Gartner, who released the data, said a total of 36.5 million smartphone handsets were sold during the July-September period.
Economic slowdown has dented sales, said Gartner.
Growth in the sector will continue to slow next year, but - unlike the rest of the mobile phone market - will not enter into decline.
Nokia maintained its dominant position in the smartphone market with a 42.4%Â market share. However, it was the first time that Nokia recorded a decline in smartphone sales, down 3% on year.
By contrast, Apple saw sales growth of over 300% with iPhone sales hitting 4.7 million units.
Upgraded features, a lower price, and wider availability all helped to boost the iPhone’s popularity.
BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) also performed well, with sales up 81.7% on year to 5.8 million units.
North America was the fastest growing market for smartphones, with a 68% increase in sales.