Just four years after entering the market of smartphones with a promising device, Apple became the No. 1 maker of smartphones on the planet. In the second quarter of 2011, Apple sold more smartphones than Nokia Corp. and Samsung Electronics.
Based on financial reports from the companies as well as estimates of the analysts Apple sold 20.3 million of iPhone smartphones in Q2 2011, Samsung Electronics shipped 19.2 million of its advanced handsets in the same period and Nokia only supplied 16.7 million of phones running Symbian operating system.
Despite of the fact that Apple currently sells only two models of its smartphones – flagship iPhone 4 and low-cost iPhone 3 GS that is sold through various third-party stores – it managed to outsell tens of variations available from Samsung and Nokia.
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.
Samsung Electronics introduced its Galaxy S II flagship smartphone in May, 2011, and sold three million units of the device by early July. The model is available from more than 140 vendors in 120 countries.
Nokia only introduced its N9 and Oro smartphones in Q2. The N9 is the first and the last and smartphone powered by MeeGo operating system. The handset sports impressive design and feature-set, but it will only become available in September, 2011, which means that it will face competition from loads of rivals, including Apple and Samsung. Nokia Oro is a smartphone in golden enclosure that is based on C7 low-cost smartphone platform from Nokia.
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.