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Apple Passes Nokia and Holds Off Samsung to Become World's Top Smartphone Vendor [Updated]

Just hours after research firm IDC released data showing Apple dramatically outpacing the overall mobile phone industry in year-over-year growth for the second quarter of 2011, Strategy Analytics has confirmed that Apple has indeed become the world's largest smartphone manufacturer. In that smaller but faster-growing submarket, Apple dethroned long-time leader Nokia and just barely held off a fast-rising Samsung to take the top spot.
Alex Spektor, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global smartphone shipments grew a healthy 76 percent annually to reach a record 110 million units in Q2 2011. We had previously reported on Apple becoming the largest smartphone vendor in terms of revenue and profits. Now, just four years after the release of the original iPhone, Apple has become the world’s largest smartphone vendor by volume with 18 percent market share. Apple’s growth remained strong as it expanded distribution worldwide, particularly in China and Asia.”
With both Apple and Nokia reporting their quarterly financial results last week, it was confirmed that Apple had passed Nokia, but some analysts had suggested that Samsung might surge past both companies on the strength of its Android-based handset sales. While Samsung did indeed achieve remarkable 520% year-over-year smartphone growth to move from 5.0% of the market to 17.5%, Apple's performance was strong enough to at least temporarily take the crown with 18.5% of the market.

Update: ABI Research has just released similar data showing Apple on top of the smartphone market with Samsung in a close second.
ABI Research Senior Analyst Michael Morgan comments: “Although Apple’s 142% YoY growth placed it as number one this quarter, Samsung’s 500% YoY growth shows that going forward, the top smartphone OEM position is Samsung’s to lose.”
ABI Research estimates that 47 million Android phones were sold during the quarter, giving the platform 46.4% of the smartphone market, more than double that of the iPhone.

Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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40 months ago

Samsung is not even the top Android device seller in the U.S. market. I didn't expect them to be so strong in global sales (although I realize they are a huge and very successful company in many different markets).

Yeah, it usually comes as a shock to most US-Americans that there is a whole world outside the US borders - a world that does not feel, think or behave American at all...

Anyway. Samsung is a very big player here in Germany, and it's easier to find people with a Samsung Galaxy S1 or S2 than it is to find people with an iPod or an iPhone.

The "rebirth" of Apple still is mostly a US phenomenon.
Rating: 15 Votes
40 months ago

God I hate censor mods deleting my posts...

then don't respond to obvious spam. :)

Rating: 14 Votes
40 months ago
Go go Samsung!

+500% growth!
Rating: 13 Votes
40 months ago
Isn't this a bit like saying:

Well we have 20 companies, all making VHS Players and they each have 4.5% of the market. meaning VHS has 90% market share.

However Apple who makes Betamax has a 10% market share.

Yay Apple. They are the winning company.
Rating: 12 Votes
40 months ago
I'm soooo happy that my favourite computer company is doing so well at selling the most annoying piece of hardware to plague the planet* :rolleyes:

*mobile phones in general, not iPhones specifically
Rating: 10 Votes
40 months ago

wow all that cheap samsung phones are selling well :D

Not his again! How is being cheaper something bad? How is having many options in different price segments bad? Samsung have some very cheap phones of crap quality but they also have high quality phones that are both cheaper and better than the iPhone.
Rating: 9 Votes
40 months ago
There's a reason why Apple is going after Samsung with all the IP lawsuits. Samsung is becoming the dominant Android vendor and smartphone vendor.
Rating: 8 Votes
40 months ago
It looks like Apple's status as the worlds top smartphone vendor will be short lived.
Rating: 7 Votes
40 months ago

This is an Apple-centric site.

The real story here *is* Apple. They're doing all this with one or at most two phones, using an OS that isn't licensed out to every vendor that can slam together a box.

These folks need to sell all kinds of handsets at all price points just to compete with Apple's at most two iPhone models. That's how impressive Apple's walled garden is. Not some OEM pushing someone else's OS.

I never get why this is seen as positive for Apple. Its an admission that they have a one huge R&D department, one software team, one hardware team, one marketing team, all of whom have the SOLE aim of getting an iPhone out (which, incidentally, is also a box). Compare this to Samsung who have to divide their resources amongst many different phone and yet still have bigger growth than Apple.

Oh and FYI, stop peddling the lie that Samsung lost any case against Apple and that they have been proven to use IP without consent. This is incorrect.
Rating: 5 Votes
40 months ago
Good job apple. :apple:
Rating: 5 Votes

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