Cellphone market growing faster than expected -IDC

* IDC raises 2010 smartphone growth forecast to 55 pct

* Earlier forecast 44 pct market growth

* Sees total handset market up 14.1 pct vs 12.6 pct earlier

HELSINKI, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Research firm IDC raised its cellphone market growth forecasts on Tuesday due to strong demand for new smartphones like Apple's AAPL.O iPhone 4.

IDC raised its 2010 smartphone sales growth forecast to 55 percent from 44 percent earlier. Citing booming smartphone demand it also lifted its forecast for overall cellphone market growth to 14.1 percent from 12.6 percent.

“Additional product introductions and an expected flurry of smartphone buying activity in the second half of the year will push the market well above previous expectations,” analyst Kevin Restivo said in a statement.

The research firm said the outlook for 2011 was also strong, with the smartphone market set to grow 24.5 percent despite uncertainty about the economy. (Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by David Holmes)