Apple Battles Nokia for World Smartphone Domination

Apple's iPhone dominated in Western Europe and challenged Nokia for global smartphone supremacy, an industry report said today.

In 2011's first quarter, Apple shipped 18.7 million smartphones which amounts to about 18.7 percent of marketshare, a 114.4 percent leap from this time last year. Nokia, still the global smartphone leader at 24.3 percent of marketshare, dropped about 12.6 percent, according to data from an IDC survey. Apple's rise in marketshare was largely attributed to two countries -- the United States and China, where sales growth was in the in the triple digits.

Nokia, which uses the Symbian platform, already lost out to manufacturer Samsung (29.3 percent) in the feature phone market in Western Europe, dropping 10.3 percent to land at 27.9 percent of marketshare, IDC reported.

The BlackBerry platform stayed in the world's  third-place spot. "BlackBerry maker Research In Motion also increased its shipments last quarter but shed some market share to the competition, now owning a 14 percent slice of the market," wrote CNET. "Though RIM has unveiled a variety of new 3G handsets, it's still stuck shipping a large number of older, lower-cost phones . . . a move that's expected to continue into the next quarter."

Both Android device makers Samsung, 350 percent in marketshare growth, and HTC, 229 percent in marketshare growth,  rounded out the top five list of smartphone vendors, each experiencing dramatic growth in the first three months of 2011 compared to this time last year.

The numbers don't lie. The desire for the Apple iOS and Android platforms are growing while first-generation BlackBerry and Nokia's cachet seems to be dwindling. In this country, and apparently in China, the Symbian platform is dead in the water.

BlackBerry is still holding tight to business customers, but will likely be a loser in the smartphone wars. While I think that Apple will hold its lead for a few more quarters, I think eventually one of the Android platform phones will take the first spot -- mainly because its growth is about three times faster than the Cupertino, Calif., company's iPhone.

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