Nokia Beats Apple in Smartphone Shipments Worldwide

With the recent squabbling over the Motorola Droid's status as the next potential "iPhone killer, one could assume Apple has become the competitor to beat in the smartphone marketplace. But while countless reviewers try to measure the relative "cool" factor of these high profile gadgets, Nokia has been managing quite well on its own worldwide, continuing its lead in the sector with 37.9 percent of the market share in the third quarter of this year, according to research firm IDC.

The next closest competitors are Research in Motion, makers of the Blackberry, with 19 percent market share and Apple with 17.1 percent based on shipment volume worldwide. Smartphones overall saw a 4.2 percent increase in shipments compared to the same period last year.

Nokia has managed to maintain its lead with the E71 and N97 handsets, which have been popular in Europe but seen more sluggish sales in the U.S. due to the lack of carrier-based incentives. On the flip side, Apple has not made the strides worldwide that it has domestically.

The future of the market may hold something different for both companies, however, as compared to last year Apple's share has grown 7.1 percent to Nokia's 6.1. RIM saw the biggest yearly growth with a 35.7 increase compared to last years numbers, with geek stalwart HTC seeing a 14.7 percent increase to grab 5.6 percent of the smartphone market.

As a patent battle between Apple and Nokia heats up, the competition could lead to a number of exciting possibilities. Analysts are clear on one thing: the demand for smartphones, regardless of who is making them, will continue to rise.

More details on the report can be found at CNET.

Thanks for the tip RenaissanceMan

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