Apple Continues to Close on Nokia for Title of World's Top Smartphone Vendor

Research firm IDC today announced the results of its survey of smartphone shipment data for the first quarter of 2011, following up on last week's release of data on the broader mobile phone market.

163526 idc 1q11 smartphones

According to the new smartphone data, Apple continues to hold second place among the world's top smartphone manufacturers with 18.7% market, with unit sales up 114% year-over-year and its share rising by three percentage from the year-ago quarter. That rise, combined with rapid declines in market-leader Nokia's smartphone share, has allowed Apple to move within six percentage points of the top spot.

Apple reached a new record shipment volume in a single quarter, and inched closer to market leader Nokia with fewer than six million units separating the two companies. The company posted market-beating year-over-year growth and recorded triple-digit growth in two key markets: the United States, with the release of its CDMA-enabled iPhone, and Greater China. Additionally, the company enlisted South Korean Telecom and Saudi Telecom as carrier providers of the iPhone.

Overall, worldwide smartphone sales grew by nearly 80% year-over-year, with several Android-focused manufacturers including Samsung and HTC joining Apple in leading the way while Nokia and third-place Research in Motion significantly lagged the overall market growth.

Related Forum: iPhone

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Top Rated Comments

ChazUK Avatar
171 months ago
I don't think the WP7 deal will help Nokia much at all. Time will tell but people are already migrating to other manufacturers.

Samsung, HTC & Apple deserve their increases IMO.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
7o7munoz7o7 Avatar
171 months ago
my two white iPhone 4's helped this statistic!!! :D :apple:
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kdarling Avatar
171 months ago
These are skewed stats. The definition of a "smartphone" has not been consistent. If you can run BREW apps, you are a smartphone -- NOT!!

True, in some ways, the definition of a smartphone is "I know one when I see one" :)

When the iPhone first came out, it was locked down to the apps that it came with. Which, according to the usual definitions at the time, made it a "featurephone".

So it is slightly ironic that a cheap flip phone which can download and use BREW apps, is still considered a "dumbphone".

Interestingly, while Apple has just hit the $2 billion mark in royalties spread out over tens of thousands of developers, BREW apps have hit $3 billion in royalties to far fewer devs.

People talk about the latest app stores, but dumbphones have been a quietly huge app market for a decade. Heck, until lately, even ringtone sales brought in 0.7 billion dollars a year in the US alone.

iPhones are now everywhere in Japan and by extension the whole 'smartphone' market is expanding, with rival carriers releasing as many Android devices as they can build.

Yes, it's amazing that just a year or two ago, there was almost no Android phones in Japan. Now they're everywhere, with TV tuners, etc.

It's true that many people were surprised by the success of the iPhone because they had banked on Japan remaining largely ignorant of any device not developed from within.

And indeed, the iPhone barely sold in Japan until Softbank started offering it for free or nearly so. Then it took off.

Indeed Japan does still pride itself on the many 'Galapagos' devices ie devices that wont work, or be useful outside of Japan.

Right. So the question is, will Japan will go back to mostly buying its own products now that Japanese Android handsets are proliferating.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleScruff1 Avatar
171 months ago
Every phone is already an iphone.

Some people buy the original iphone

Some buy the iphone copies with different names

And some people are brainwashed.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Joshwawilson Avatar
171 months ago
I hope that someday soon the only phone to be sold will be the iPhone. Can you imagine the great feeling to know that every phone in the world is an iPhone?

Why would you want that? That would kill creativity and you would know longer have the pride of owning a device cooler than most other people's phones
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Daveoc64 Avatar
171 months ago
Do Nokia actually produce Smartphones??

Depends what you consider a "Smartphone" to be.

Nokia is raking it in from lower end phones though, but that's not glitzy.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)