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Based on the figures reported by Nokia Corp., the maker of the world's first GSM phone and the inventor of smartphone, on Thursday, it appears that the company has lost its lead on the market of smartphones to Apple, which sold over three million more iPhones than Nokis shipped its Symbian-based solutions.

Apple earlier this week said that it sold 20.34 million iPhone smartphones in the quarter that ended on June 25, 2011, a 142% year-over-year unit growth. Nokia on Thursday said that in the second quarter of 2011 it shipped 16.7 million smartphones, down 34% from 25.2 million in the Q2 2010. Based on these results, Apple managed to outsell Nokia's Symbian-based smartphones by 3.64 million units with one or two models.

Sales of Nokia's smartphones powered by Symbian operating systems started to plummet in February after the company's chief executive officer announced transition from Symbian platform to Windows Phone operating system. End-users slowed down purchase of high-end Symbian devices and started to look at Apple iPhone and Google Android-based handsets. In mid-Q2 2011 several operators started to boycott Nokia's smartphones following purchase of Skype by Microsoft Corp. as well as Nokia's plan to start selling dual-SIM handsets.

In the second quarter of 2011 Apple refreshed its smartphone line with white iPhone 4 and continued to aggressively work with carriers to expand the geography where its phones are available. At present Apple iPhones are available in over 100 countries from over 225 operators.

It remains to be seen how strong Apple can get on the market of smartphones now that 550 thousand of Google Android-based devices are activated every day. It will be also interesting to see whether Nokia will be able to recover once it releases its Windows Phone 7-based devices in late 2011 or early 2012.

Tags: Nokia, Apple, iPhone, iOS, Symbian, Business

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