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Nokia slips to third in smartphone sales as Apple takes the lead

Nokia’s downhill slide continues. The world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer is no longer the world’s largest smartphone maker. Strategy Analytics (via CNET) reports that in the first half of 2011, Nokia has slipped from the number 1 to number 3 spot in the smartphone market. The new king of the hill: Apple, followed closely by Samsung. Apple controlled 18.5 percent of the smartphone market in early 2011, followed by Samsung with 17.5 percent, and Nokia with 15.2 percent, which is down from 38.1 percent a year ago. Of course, Nokia hasn’t exactly lost half of its smartphone sales. It just hasn’t grown with the market, which has expanded by 76 percent this year, with more than 110 million smartphones shipped in 2011 so far.

Nokia is still the overall number 1 handset manufacturer, but Apple is creeping up the ranks, reports the IDC. Apple now controls 5.6 percent of total mobile handset sales, about double what it previously held, and locking it into fourth place. Nokia, however, still commands the market with 24.2 percent, down from 33.8 percent one year ago. Where is Samsung, you ask? It’s sitting pretty at #2 with 19.2 percent of the market. LG is a distant third with 6.8 percent.

For Nokia, the introduction of Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) and its new line of smartphone handsets can’t come soon enough. Many analysts believe that, together, Nokia and Microsoft will be able to save one another and push forward in the smartphone space. Whether both companies can actually dig each other out of their respective holes, only time will tell.

(Image via Gulf News)

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