Apple may overtake Nokia in 2011 smartphone shipments

Apple's iPhone continues to be the biggest selling single smartphone in the world. Today a new report from Digitimes Research predicts that Apple will overtake its biggest smartphone rival, Nokia, in shipments of smartphones worldwide. The report claims that Apple will ship 86.4 million iPhones in 2011, up from 47.5 million units in 2010. Nokia, on the other hand, will see its smartphone shipment go down to just 74.4 million units in 2011, well below the 100 million units it shipped in 2010. Nokia will launch new smartphones based on Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 operating system later this year in an attempt to get back some of its lost market share.

Overall smartphone shipments from all of the companies are expected to reach 462 million units in 2011, according to the report. That's up from 288 million units in 2010. Among the other smartphone makers, Samsung is predicted to be the third largest with 67 million units in 2011, well above from its 23 million units a year ago. Also much higher is HTC, the fifth biggest smartphone maker. It will ship 49.7 million units this year, up from 24.1 million units in 2010. Both companies sell Android and Windows Phone 7-based smartphones.

RIM, still one of the bigger mobile phone makers, is now predicted to ship the fourth largest amount of smartphones worldwide this year. The report claims that RIM will ship 55.7 million units in 2011, up slightly from 49.4 million units in 2010. Overall the top five smartphone makers (Apple, Nokia, Samsung, RIM and HTC) will account for 72 percent of all smartphone shipments in 2011.

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