updated 04:15 pm EDT, Thu May 5, 2011
IDC has Apple near Nokia in Q1 market share
Apple is now a large enough smartphone maker that it could soon overtake Nokia for the top spot, IDC said Wednesday. The 18.65 million iPhones it shipped in the winter were enough to give it 18.7 percent of the smartphone sphere just as Nokia's relatively stale growth, to 24.2 million, saw its share drop down to 24.3 percent from a much higher 38.8 percent just a year ago. RIM's quarters don't overlap with most of the industry, but IDC believed that RIM shipped 13.9 million BlackBerrys, leading to a drop from 19.1 percent of the field in early 2010 to just 14 percent.
Almost all of Android's gains were concentrated in Samsung, whose Galaxy S line kicked up from 4.3 percent to 10.8 percent, and in HTC, which moved from 4.9 percent to 5.9 percent.
Senior researcher Kevin Restivo was confident that the market would be relatively splintered given that several phone makers were succeeding based on Android. He warned that Nokia's transition to Windows Phone could cost it valuable share in the interim. RIM was also at risk since its phone mix was increasingly moving towards budget phones like the Curve and might get worse in the spring.
At the current pace, the shift could fulfill predictions of Apple overtaking Nokia as the world's largest phone designer before the end of 2011. Such a swap could be unprecedented in the phone world as Apple only entered the category about four years ago, at a time when Nokia regularly shipped more than half of all smartphones in the world.